IN THEIR recent letter, the lead GP’s for the new Clinical Commissioning Group, failed to reassure me on the future of our A & E department.
The nearby major trauma centres (Brighton) already takes patients with multiple injuries. Other patients though, who have a slightly lower Injury severity score, cannot be taken to a hospital unless it has trauma unit status. Eastbourne, which currently retains its trauma unit status, sees thousands of patients such as these with fractures, head injuries and other issues every year, and they all receive a good standard of care.
The ESHT strategy, however, plans to remove emergency surgery from one of our local hospitals, so that site will not be able to be a trauma unit, and clearly, Eastbourne DGH is being suggested as the affected site.
The Herald reported in April about the high-quality hip fracture unit in Eastbourne, but if we are not a trauma unit, ambulances will not be allowed to bring many types of patients here.
They will have to be moved; often when in an unstable condition and over a long distance, rather than getting the prompt care they get now. How is that better?
So, I am afraid I am not (and neither are my colleagues on the cross-party SavetheDGH campaign or the Friends of DGH) reassured by the apparent commitment of the Trust to support both A&Es.
We fear that one site will get the increased staff in A&E, along with the surgeons, etc, and the other will be downgraded with more and more ambulances bypassing us until we get reclassified as a minor injuries unit.
Across the UK, other hospitals that have lost a major service have had their A&E service reduced over a relatively short period of time.
This simply must not happen in Eastbourne, which is why I urge local residents to join me on the SavetheDGH march which is taking place on the 15th September.
See you all there!
Stephen Lloyd, Eastbourne MP