It was vital for us to shout about the DGH

I know that the saga of the future of the DGH has been rumbling on for a very long time and it is easy to become resigned to events and go quiet.

Following a recent stay on Hailsham 2 ward I have been reminded how vital it is for us to continue to shout about it.

Before going any further however I would like to publicly thank all the people involved in my care. From the surgeon to the cleaners each and every one was kind, caring, committed and totally professional. In the teams that work in this department we have a set of people who truly are the gold standard.

So why am I beating the drum about vigilance? Well it would appear there are moves afoot for yet another service, some of women’s health, to be transferred over to the Conquest.

We must not lose sight of the fact that patients are human beings, whole people not just procedures and outcomes. If this move should happen yet more vulnerable patients will be in a place that is not home.

Their family and friends will be forced to make the horrible time consuming journey to visit and all at a time when extra stress and worry can surely only be detrimental to their recovery.

I simply cannot believe that anyone truly thinks that such a move is beneficial in any way, other than perhaps financial and even that is surely short term. If patient recovery is hampered stays will be longer and therefore more costly, not to mention shortage of beds for other patients.

On top of this of course there is the matter of staff morale. These superb people must surely be living with uncertainty over job security and travel issues.

Do those who make such decisions have any idea what it is like to work a 12 hour plus shift? Perhaps they would like to try and then add a journey that can take anything up to and hour each way on top of it.

Eastbourne is a growing town which needs to have the full range of health services available to those who, like me, suddenly find that they need them. I count myself very fortunate to have been treated locally.

We have a health service which many people around the world can only dream of. We should shout its praises when it does things right and continue to stand up for local services.


Victoria Drive, Old Town.