Fight goes on for Save the DGH campaign

The 'Save the DGH' campaign launched its 'Option 7 The Campaign Option' consutation document. March 21st 2014 E12002Q SUS-140304-132428001

The 'Save the DGH' campaign launched its 'Option 7 The Campaign Option' consutation document. March 21st 2014 E12002Q SUS-140304-132428001

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Save the DGH campaigners have met with barristers and will contact the Secretary of State to protest against the maternity decision.

Liz Walke, hospital campaigner, believes a midwife-led unit at the DGH is not sufficient for a town the size of Eastbourne.

Women from Eastbourne who need input from a doctor during childbirth must now travel to Hastings and Mrs Walke says the move by health bosses, which was agreed by the Health and Overview Scrutiny Committee (HOSC), is unsafe.

Mrs Walke said, “We have been advised to challenge the decision recently made by HOSC with the Secretary of State for Health and we will be doing this by also launching a petition.

“We have not given up and fear that A&E will be the next core service for downgrading – if it hasn’t happened already with so many people being diverted to Hastings.”

Darren Grayson, chief executive of East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, said “There is a lot of nonsense spoken and printed about the future of Eastbourne DGH. Unfortunately, a small number of local people have made a name for themselves saying things about the hospital that are simply untrue. This scaremongering leads to needless anxiety for all the patients we serve and all the staff who work in the hospital.

“I want to be quite clear about the future of Eastbourne DGH so there is no misunderstanding and we can finally put these rumours to bed.

“Eastbourne DGH will stay open and will continue to provide the services most people need most often. This includes A&E, acute medicine, cardiology, diabetes, haematology, gastroenterology, stroke services, elective surgery and day surgery.

“It will also provide midwifery led maternity services, paediatric assessment, outpatients, radiology and all other essential support services.”

Amanda Philpott, chief officer of Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford CCG and Hastings and Rother CC, said, “As we have repeated on many occasions, there is no agenda to “downgrade” services at either hospital site (Eastbourne or Hastings). There is no substance to speculation casting doubt on the future of A&E services at Eastbourne.

“We want to improve services for all East Sussex residents and are committed to commissioning safe and high quality NHS care from two vibrant hospital sites.”