A raft of key services at the DGH face being downgraded or removed altogether.
East Sussex Healthcare Trust, which runs the hospital and its sister site in nearby Hastings, is expected to announce controversial plans to cut back on a host of departments.
And the Herald understands that this will include maternity, orthopaedics, paediatrics, A&E, and stroke care – with locals once again facing the very real threat of having to share vital services with Hastings.
Save the DGH campaigner Liz Walke was among those who reacted angrily to the proposals. She said, “The DGH is full to bursting at the moment and very busy but still manages to give good quality care despite pressures.
“What message does this give to staff as thanks for working under such pressure? They certainly don’t want this. Yet the senior managers think they can save money by shutting all of one site (except for medical patients) or stop all out of hours.
“This must be wrong. We also see that once again they are trying to downgrade maternity to a midwife-led unit and also take away all in-patient paediatric beds. How dare they! Nothing significant has changed since 2008, when we successfully stopped their plans, apart from the money which management say is not the driving factor.”
A spokesman for the trust said, “Work continues on the development of our clinical strategy which is key for the future sustainability of the health services across East Sussex. Led by doctors and nurses together with local GPs and key stakeholders including patient representatives we have considered national best practice and the evidence for delivering safe, quality services that meet the future health needs of our local population and ensure excellent clinical outcomes and patient experience.
“We are determined to ensure we are able to deliver clinically and financially sustainable services for the long term that are of the highest standard possible for our patients.”
For a full break-down of the plans and for more feedback, see Friday’s Herald.
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