Sharing facilities an alarming plan

FOUR years after the great campaign by Liz Walke and her supporters to successfully save and keep what I consider to be vital facilities and services at the DGH I am very concerned and disappointed to learn that these very same services are once again under threat which I still think will be very detrimental for the hospital and the town of Eastbourne which it serves (Herald, May 18).

The DGH is a very well used hospital, busy and full to bursting point, this should tell the powers that be to leave well alone.

Maternity, paediatrics, stroke care and emergency services are just four of a number of services under threat.

Documents handed to the Herald last week show alarming yet-to-be-announced plans to cut back on vital departments - some being shared with the Conquest in Hastings. Others could be removed altogether.

Sharing these facilities with the Conquest is I think a non-starter. Have traffic problems between the two towns been considered in cases of emergency?

The most worrying revelation by the Trust is recommending the DGH or its sister hospital lose its consultant-led maternity unit which I think would be disastrous for both hospitals.

Having backed down from their original proposals in 2008 I thought and very much hoped this situation would not raise its ugly head again.

Sadly I was wrong. I remember well four years ago local people, under the banner of Save The DGH, voicing very clearly their anger at the threat to these services and going on a seafront march which gave the controversial plans a bloody nose.

I am very disappointed the trust seems determined to press on with the plans with the same document showing it is also recommending a single-site inpatient facility for paediatrics, childcare, emergency and planned surgery. With specialist stroke care also being earmarked for centralising at one site, while the DGH is likely to retain a trauma unit or an emergency department but not both.

I am delighted Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd has vowed to fight these plans all the way as has original campaigner Liz Walke and her Save the DGH team.

It is very much a case of here they go again with, I very much hope, the same outcome. Common sense must prevail and these services kept at the DGH.

STEVE FULLER

Rowan Avenue, Hove