Hospital campaigners start their legal battle

Save the DGH march along Eastbourne seafront Saturday 15th September 2012 E38169N'Liz Walke speaks at the rally on the Wish Tower slopes.
Save the DGH march along Eastbourne seafront Saturday 15th September 2012 E38169N'Liz Walke speaks at the rally on the Wish Tower slopes.

Save the DGH campaigners have started legal proceedings against the decision to move services to The Conquest in Hastings.

Back in December, the health overview and scrutiny committee (HOSC) agreed controversial plans to focus emergency orthopaedic surgery and emergency general surgery at the Conquest in Hastings – a move which would see an average of 15 patients a day forced to travel between the two sites.

Save the DGH campaigners, including Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd, are challenging the decision and after a meeting with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt earlier this year, they are now pushing for a judicial review. The campaigners sent a letter to the local healthcare trust on Friday (February 1) stating their intention for a judicial review.

Liz Walke, Save the DGH campaigner, said, “ We believe these services are vital to both hospitals and cannot be divided between the sites. One hospital two sites does not work when dealing with emergency services and also paramedics, although very skilled in emergencies, are not doctors. Also one must not forget the patients family, friends and carers who are vital in communication and recovery. It is for these reasons and more that we need to make a legal challenge.”

A spokesperson from the East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust said, “We can confirm we have received a letter from solicitors acting on behalf of Liz Walke.

“We will be taking legal advice and will respond in an appropriate fashion within the timescales required.

“The proposals to improve the quality of care in three specialist areas have been through the due process including a public consultation. A decision on the future delivery of these services was made by NHS Sussex several weeks ago and this decision was considered to be in the best interests of local people. by HOSC.”