Hospital fund raisers are so concerned over rumours about day surgery moving out of the DGH, they are freezing cash allocated to kitting out one of the day surgery operating theatres at Eastbourne.
The Friends of the Eastbourne Hospital spent 2013 raising thousands of pounds to buy equipment for an additional day surgery operating theatre at the DGH.
But following rumours that staff are being told their jobs are moving to the Conquest in Hastings, persistent gossip that day surgery at Eastbourne will close and a planned meeting between the Friends and hospital managers to discuss the rumours being cancelled at the last minute, the Friends say they will not be paying out any money until they are reassured day surgery is staying at Eastbourne.
Peter Nash, the chairman of the Friends, said, “During the fundraising year that finished in November 2013, we continued to receive reassurance that an additional day surgery theatre would be provided at the DGH. As a result of requests from the Day Surgery Unit, the Friends agreed expenditure on several items of equipment that were urgently required and which have already been put into use.
“Although the hospital trust has not informed the Friends of any change of plans, we became aware of rumours concerning the future of day surgery earlier this year and we sought clarification.”
A meeting was planned to discuss concerns but Mr Nash said, “Unfortunately, at short notice, this meeting was cancelled by the trust and has yet to be re-arranged. Since then rumours have persisted and it is alleged staff are being informed their jobs are being moved to the Conquest. This has been denied by the trust.
“Clearly, members of the public will be concerned that their fundraising efforts on our behalf are used appropriately. As a result, the Trustees have ‘frozen’ funds allocated to this project. They will not be released until such time there is clear evidence the additional operating theatre is being provided for day surgery. In addition, when they are released, funds raised directly for this purpose will only be used for day surgery within the DGH. We have the reassurance of ESHT that day surgery will continue in Eastbourne and can only await developments.”
The trust continues to deny rumours that day surgery is closing and Richard Sunley at the trust said, “Day surgery makes up a major proportion of all our surgical activity within the trust. It’s important we ensure it is run as efficiently as possible to meet patients’ needs. To reiterate, day surgery will continue at Eastbourne DGH. We have no intention at all of closing day surgery at Eastbourne and no staff will lose jobs as a result of this proposed relocation within the hospital.”