BREAKING NEWS: Maternity services will permanently move to Hastings after HOSC makes final decision


Consultant-led maternity care and inpatient paediatrics will definitely not be returning to Eastbourne after health watchdogs made a final decision to permanently single-site the services in Hastings.

The Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) met this afternoon (Monday, July 28) to consider the decision made by the CCGs to move obstetrics, emergency gynaecology, inpatient paediatrics and the special care baby unit to the Conquest Hospital in Hastings, leaving just a midwife-led unit and short stay paediatric assessment unit at the DGH.

A motion put forward by Councillor Alan Shuttleworth to refer the decision to the Secretary of State on the grounds the consultation was flawed with the omission of Option 7 - consultant-led maternity services and paediatrics at both sites - failed by eight votes to four, while a second motion put forward by vice chair of HOSC Cllr Ruth O’Keefe to refer the issue to the Secretary of State based on the fact information presented to the committee was incomplete and questions were left unanswered tied at six votes for and six against. Chair of HOSC, Cllr Michael Ensor, cast the deciding vote against and the motion failed.

A third motion put forward by Cllr Bob Standley to approve the decision made by the CCGs in the belief it was the safest option and in the best interests of the population of East Sussex was passed with seven votes in favour and five against.

The decision means work will now begin implementing the temporary changes made in May 2013 on a permanent basis.