A new date has been set for a health watchdog meeting which campaigners say will be their last chance to try and get consultan- led maternity and paediatrics back at Eastbourne DGH.
The Health Overview Scrutiny Committee was due to meet on July 10 but because that was the day of industrial action by health workers, it was changed to Monday July 28.
Then members of HOSC will discuss the Clinical Commissioning Group’s decision to permanently remove consultant-led maternity and paediatrics from the DGH and keep them at the Conquest in Hastings.
Campaigners fighting to see consultant-led maternity and paediatrics brought back to Eastbourne include the town’s MP Stephen Lloyd.
He said, “This meeting presents the final opportunity for HOSC to overturn the CCG’s plans to remove consultant-led maternity from Eastbourne to the Secretary of State for Health.
“Last time the Hospital Trust attempted this change, back in 2008, HOSC took the opportunity to refer it on to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel which overturned the proposals. Campaigners are hoping that HOSC will repeat this course of action on July 28 and are urging people to contact their HOSC councillors before the meeting.
“It was a huge blow that the CCG has decided to rob Eastbourne of its consultant-led maternity services.
“If we can reach all the councillors who voted against our local hospital we might be able to get this referred again, and just possibly stop the changes. So it is absolutely imperative that everybody writes to HOSC members asking they support full maternity provision at our hospitals.
“Their email addresses are at www.eastsussex.gov.uk/yourcouncil/about/committees/meetings/scrhealth”
Campaigners have been left bitterly disappointed by the CCG decision and say the consultation was flawed and should have included a seventh option for consultant-led maternity services at two sites.
Conservative parliamentary candidate Caroline Ansell said, “I’m utterly dismayed by the decision made. The highest authority in the land, back in 2008, ruled that both the DGH and Conquest needed consultant-led care. What has changed since then? Not the slow, winding and unreliable road to Hastings, nor the poor public transport.”
Monica Corrina-Kavakli from the SavetheDGH campaign said, “The CCG’s decision was the one we all feared – they haven’t listened to us, but we will keep fighting to the end.”