AS PENSIONERS aged 85 and 83 respectively, my wife and I think the proposal to downgrade the service provided by the coronary care unit at the Eastbourne DGH is outrageous and disgraceful.
Not only does Eastbourne and the surrounding area have a population of more than 100,000, which one would have thought qualified it for 24-hour operation of such a unit anyway, but the demographic profile of the population in the area is such that it may be expected to have an above-average probability of needing emergency heart treatment.
We came to Eastbourne 10 years ago in retirement to live out the last years of our lives and enjoy its equable climate and its good range of cultural activities, secure – as we thought – also in the knowledge that the DGH would provide the hospital services that we might need.
To find its services being whittled away as proposed is mortifying in the extreme, bearing in mind we have paid taxes to support the NHS throughout our working lives in the assumption that its services would be there when we need them and not just in office hours.
Furthermore, we have come to realise Eastbourne is particularly badly served by its road links, and one can envisage lives may well be lost in the time taken to transfer a serious case from Eastbourne to either Hastings or Brighton (to say nothing of Portsmouth, Ashford or Frimley).
Perhaps this is why the DGH has recently built a new heli-pad?
Alternatively perhaps the powers that be think that the proposal is a good way of reducing the problem of an ageing population.
Mr & Mrs
Geoffrey H Cope
Compton Place Road