There was an air of inevitablity over the decision made yesterday by the East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust to give the green light to concentrate orthopaedics and general surgery at the Conquest in Hastings as opposed to Eastbourne’s DGH.
One senses campaigners expected as much after months of fighting tooth and nail to protect services in Eastbourne.
It is a sad day for the town, but the battle isn’t over yet. Not quite.
From here the recommendation goes to NHS Sussex for their ratification and from there the health overview and scrutiny panel will pour over the validity of the decision.
This is the last juncture before the battle is lost. It is here, as was demonstrated six years ago when plans to move maternity services from Eastbourne to Hastings were stopped in their tracks, that the health minister can rule against a decision.
Prime Minister David Cameron has stated that any decision has to be driven by public and clinical opinion.
There is still time for the public to let Health Minister Jeremy Hunt know this decision is the wrong decision for the people of East Sussex.
It’s not too late to make your voice heard, and next week we’ll tell you how you can make that clarion call.