Staff upset by hospital chief’s latest warning

Eastbourne DGH
Eastbourne DGH

UNION bosses at the DGH have hit out at comments made by the hospital’s chief executive warning locals to come to terms with sharing services with Hastings.

Speaking in last week’s Herald, the head of East Sussex Healthcare Trust, Darren Grayson, lifted the lid on the hospital’s perilous financial position and said a raft of measures would be needed to save a mammoth £100million over the next five years.

But it was his comments regarding the possible downgrading of services which caused most furore – particularly it seems among staff.

Mr Grayson said, “We will need to look at things as one hospital on two sites (DGH and Conquest). We will simply not be able to afford – and it does not always serve patients well – to have two of everything, one in Hastings and one in Eastbourne.”

The lead rep of the GMB union at the trust, Dave Carroll, said, “Darren’s statements are deeply unsettling to the already demoralised staff who are trying their hardest to provide the service our community deserves and we have grave concerns that moving forward with this approach will impact upon patient care.”

He also questioned the timing of advertising for a new high-ranking member of staff at the same time as saying the trust needs to cut its cloth.

“To be saying this trust is in such financial turmoil that the idea to sacrifice core services on either site is a credible option while recently advertising for an assistant chief executive’s position truly is astounding.

“Surely looking at impacting two communities in such a severe way should be an unthinkable outcome for a trust that is dedicated to providing the best healthcare possible for the area.”

A spokesman for the trust said the recently advertised position was a joint role, also taking in the responsibilities of chief operating officer, and that it was simply a replacement job – not a new position.