Hospital changes debated in Parliament
Changes to services at Eastbourne DGH were raised in Parliament by the town’s MP on Thursday (February 7).
Stephen Lloyd called for a rethink to the government’s current approach to the reconfiguration of local health services.
Mr Lloyd, along with Conservative MP for Newark Patrick Mercer and Labour MP for Southall Virendra Sharma, called for Thursday’s debate due to the growing concern about closures and downgrades to emergency hospital departments.
Mr Lloyd also voiced concerns about the four reconfiguration tests, introduced by the coalition in 2010 designed to build confidence with patients and communities, and within the NHS itself.
He said East Sussex Healthcare Trust, which runs Eastbourne DGH, is in the process of having its orthopaedic general surgery departments downgraded, despite strong opposition to the plans.
In Parliament, Mr Lloyd said, “There are two stands to this debate: the arguments surrounding the current emphasis on specialism and centres of excellence in the health service, and health trusts and PCTs at best misinterpreting, and at worst wilfully ignoring, the coalition government’s reconfiguration guidelines.
“There is increasing concern in medical fields that NHS care for emergency patients is failing in too many instances; rare, complex surgeries, such as for brain tumours are obviously best done in specialist centres.
“However common types of emergency surgery, such as hip fractures, are best done as soon as possible, at local hospitals. With hospitals around the country being reconfigured to provide ‘specialist care in a major centre’ thousands of patients around the country who require emergency, but not specialist care, are losing out.”
He added, “At the same time as pursuing this, my own Trust has pressed ahead with plans to downgrade departments, despite clearly not meeting three of the government’s four reconfiguration tests.”
East Sussex NHS Healthcare Trust says its plans are in the best interests of patients in East Sussex.
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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