Right to invest in cardiac equipment

Your article ‘Confusion of £87,000 heart scanner decision’ (October 7) suggests a view that investment in modern cardiac scanning equipment at the DGH could be wasteful, due to the planned out-of-hours scaling down of emergency coronary care.

Advanced diagnostic equipment, such as the scanner in question, which is funded not from the Trust budget but from the Friends, is required in order for the cardiology department to competently address the clinical needs of its patients, as well as providing appropriate facilities conducive to senior staff retention.

It is my understanding that cardiology will retain the bulk of its workload and continue to provide both elective and emergency treatment during normal working hours.

It is, therefore, important that the critical mass of cardiological research and clinical competence already acquired at the DGH be retained and strengthened; this cannot be guaranteed without investment in state-of-the art equipment even if out of-hours treatment is moved.

Facilities should not be run down because of a reversible and clinically contentious policy decision.

It is not a question of either one department or another but a rational response to the health profile of Eastbourne’s population, in which cardiovascular and associated lifestyle diseases are prominent.

Joseph Mullen

Sussex Gardens, East Dean