DGH group’s fight continues

Seaford Health Cuts Campaigners March, April 13th 2013 E16034P'Save The DGH Campaigner Liz Walke
Seaford Health Cuts Campaigners March, April 13th 2013 E16034P'Save The DGH Campaigner Liz Walke

With weeks to go until the downgrading of maternity services are set to come into effect at the DGH, local campaigners are continuing to fight the changes and are looking towards a judicial review.

Since news broke that the decision for the Eastbourne hospital to establish a stand alone midwifery-led maternity unit had been backed outraged residents and parents have been in touch with the Gazette to voice concerns.

The changes, due to come into effect in early May, will also mean the hospital’s children’s ward will no longer take overnight admissions.

Liz Walke, chairman of Save the DGH group, said the team was busy at looking at different ways to keep the concerns of the local community in the spotlight.

The team is set to meet with the Clinical Commissioning Group on Thursday (April 25) about the issue and on top of that is looking into a judicial review to challenge the decision.

When maternity services were under threat five years ago the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee referred the matter to the then Secretary of State for Health Alan Johnson who on advice from the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP) said the maternity could not be downgraded at the DGH.

The mother-of-four said, “We’re looking at whether the Secretary of State for Health’ decision in 2008 (on advice from the IRP) has any teeth and can be upheld.

“We will fight this and will not leave any stone unturned.”

She said local women who were pregnant were now wanting to go to Brighton to give birth because of their concerns over changes at the Eastbourne hospital which could mean an emergency transfer to the Conquest in Hastings and a long way to go if they live to the west of the DGH.