10,000 back Save the DGH

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A petition to ‘Save the DGH’ has passed the threshold of 10,000 signatures this week.

The campaign Save the DGH started the petition to ‘keep local services for local people’, after maternity and paediatric services at Eastbourne District General Hospital were downgraded.

Liz Walke, who is leading the campaign, said, “We have been aiming to get 10,000 signatures on our petition this week to have an independent inquiry into Maternity Services at Eastbourne DGH, to demonstrate we still have huge public support.

“Well we are now aiming to get over 15,000 signatures. Yesterday (Monday November 17) at both Langney Shopping Centre and the Arndale, over 2,000 people in total signed our petition which is truly staggering!

“We are so grateful for the public support and would continue ask people to come and sign or alternatively sign up online at www.savethedgh.org.uk.

“We really believe this could make a difference.”

The East Sussex Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), which commissions local NHS services, launched a review of permanent services for maternity, paediatrics and emergency gynaecology in East Sussex. It drew up six options, none of which include an option for the services at both Eastbourne and Hastings.

Option 6, which has been selected by the CCGs, keeps consultant-led services for maternity and paediatrics at the Conquest Hospital.

So people in Eastbourne will have to travel to Hastings for this care.

“This far exceeds acceptable safety limits for many interventions such as emergency Caesarean sections,” said Ms Walke.

Save the DGH launched an alternative proposal for the CCGs to consider – Option 7, which keeps consultant-led maternity services, emergency gynaecology and in-patient paediatrics at both hospitals.

“If maternity and paediatrics are permanently downgraded at the DGH, we will have the most disadvantaged town in the UK for the population size,” said Ms Walke.

The petition, which is addressed to Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, was set up in the hope of launching an independent inquiry.