Herald Opinion: The DGH where will the knife fall next?

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Have your say

IT DOES seem odd timing for the DGH to be unveiling new, state-of-the-art equipment within weeks of announcing the downgrading of the hospital’s cardiac unit.

Admittedly, the £87,000 being spent on a new heart scanner is drawn from donated funds. And who would want to kick a gift horse - in this case, the fabulous Friends of Eastbourne Hospitals - in the mouth?

Consultants will be determined to provide the best care they can for their patients, even if they are restricted to operating at the DGH only between 8am and 5pm. After all, the department has an outstanding reputation and is seen nationally as a centre of excellence.

So on one hand we have this superb unit being able to offer even better treatment with a piece of equipment considered the most advanced of its kind in investigating heart disease and failure. And on the other, a NHS trust scrapping round-the-clock emergency treatment.

The big fear is where the knife might fall next. Maternity services are under review and there are real concerns that we are being drip-fed and softened up for worse news.

The DGH has many “friends” prepared to wave placards as readily as they are to carry collection tins. Together, they - along with the Herald - will make a powerful enemy to these cuts.

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RARELY has a subject created a bigger Herald “postbag” than that of the proposed extension of the Arndale Centre.

Most were in favour of the £65m project and very few against. Its look and design, its size and its potential occupants - all stimulated a lively debate in our pages.

Now the public has its chance to cast an even more critical eye over the plans with an exhibition being staged in the Arndale in a little more than a week’s time.

There is a tendency for people to say their piece and then steer clear of this sort of public display. We would say to our readers, please take time to get along to it. Within four years, Eastbourne’s town centre could - if all goes to plan - be transformed by 26 new shops.

This is no longer a pipedream. And the time for you to have your say is now, not when the scheme is too far advanced to be influenced.

If nothing else, you will surely have a view on our infamous diesel alley. To keep it or not, that is the question. Our view is to ban the buses. Yours may be different. So get along to the Arndale and have your say.