Herald comment: DGH decision-makers don’t have a good track record of listening

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Could we be in for a series of health cuts by stealth?

That’s the view of strident Save the DGH campaigner, Liz Walke, who believes a review of the temporary changes to maternity and paediatric services at the hospital could provide the justification for a permanent feature.

It’s the three Clinical Commissioning Groups in East Sussex who are currently canvassing public opinion to shape the future of these services.

Despite a huge weight of opinion against the changes, from the public and even from those working within the NHS – past and present – it’s not as if the decision-makers have a good track record of listening.

So why should they listen?

Won’t any change be based on financial expediency as NHS budgets are haemorrhaging, instead of listening to public sentiment how these changes are having a major impact on the community?

It is interesting how the two local MPs, Stephen Lloyd and Norman Baker have not criticised the survey, but have instead enouraged people to express their views.

A foregone conclusion? Not so says Dr Matt Jackson, Clinical Chief Officer Elect of Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford CCG, who stressed no decision had been made.

“We know how important these services are for local families and it’s right that any changes in this area are subject to widespread scrutiny.”

Write those words down and remember them at the end of the review period!