Consultants reject plans to centralise specialist emergency care at DGH or Conquest

Save the DGH march along Eastbourne seafront Saturday 15th September 2012 E38131N'The rally on the Wish Tower slopes.
Save the DGH march along Eastbourne seafront Saturday 15th September 2012 E38131N'The rally on the Wish Tower slopes.

UNPOPULAR plans to centralise specialist emergency care at either the DGH or its sister site in Hastings have been rejected by consultants at the Kings Drive hospital.

The Herald has been handed the results of a recent survey which asked 113 consultants a series of questions about the mooted plans to concentrate stroke care, general surgery and orthopaedics at one of the two sites managed by East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust.

And the results will no doubt make uncomfortable reading for the Trust’s chief executive Darren Grayson.

Of the total number of people who responded (103) just one expert said they were fully behind the plans. That means 97 per cent of the consultants were against the overall plans.

When broken down to discussing each department, the results were still weighted against the proposals.

For orthopaedics, 95 per cent said they did not support a single-site option, while for general surgery the number against the plans were 93 per cent.

Stroke care was far more evenly split, with 56 per cent of respondents saying they were not in favour of the single-site option as described by the Trust in its recent public consultation.

Campaigners have long maintained that the majority of consultants in Eastbourne were against the proposals although that is not thought to be the case in Hastings.

The pool of consultants quizzed by the survey represents nearly all the expert clinicians currently working at the DGH, but a spokesman for the Trust said the results had not weakened its resolve to push ahead.

The Herald was told, “We are absolutely convinced that these proposals will not only be better for the immediate delivery of the services but will also very clearly demonstrate that we are willing to embrace the necessary change that will stand us in good stead for the future.”