LETTER: We understand patients’ concerns

In the Herald newspaper on October 10 there were three letters that made reference to the NHS and in particular Eastbourne DGH.

As the senior doctors within Trust we understand some people’s concerns about where local patients are taken by ambulance for treatment.

Across England in April 2012 the way trauma patients were treated changed following the introduction of regional trauma networks.

Major trauma centres were set up designed to care for patients with multiple serious injuries that could result in death or serious disability, including head injuries, life-threatening wounds and multiple fractures.

This model of care has greatly improved the care of trauma patients and has undoubtedly saved many more lives. What this does mean is that seriously injured patients in East Sussex will not go to our local hospitals but will go to Major Trauma Centres in Brighton or London.

In the same way stroke patients within East Sussex have benefited from a dedicated stroke unit at the DGH where specialists are transforming treatment of strokes delivering against national indicators of best practice.

We recognise that it can be difficult for relatives to travel outside their home town whilst their loved ones are receiving treatment but ensuring that these patients receive high quality safe care when they need it has to be our primary concern.

Eastbourne DGH remains a vibrant local hospital with very busy emergency and outpatient departments, medical and surgical wards, a dedicated stroke unit, the trust centre for urology, ENT and complex haematology and cancer. It has a brand new endoscopy unit there are advanced plans for a radiotherapy centre which would enable residents of East Sussex to receive care within the county.

In addition there is a midwife led birthing centre, a short stay paediatric assessment unit, day case surgery and the facility for all diagnostic tests at the hospital.

Dr David Hughes , medical director (governance) and Dr Andy Slater, medical director (strategy).