Residents have reacted in horror to the story of two students who were knocked down outside the DGH and taken 17 miles to the Conquest Hospital in Hastings to be treated.
Last week the Herald reported how the two 13-year-old girls were injured on a Saturday afternoon after they were in collision with a car.
But instead of being taken to the nearest hospital the pair – who were reported to have leg pain, facial injuries and hip and knee pain – were driven to Hastings.
As well as pointing out that they should have been treated at the DGH, Facebook users also defended front line staff. An NHS worker who said she and a colleague were at the scene said, “I’m proud to know many a hard working nurse in that hospital who do the best they can under the circumstances so upsets me when I see people slate our hospital in such a way that we should be standing up for! Sometimes it is about getting the right patient the right treatment at the right hospital. Yes in a perfect world that should happen in every hospital, but let’s face it this isn’t a perfect world and as great as our NHS is, it’s not made of money unfortunately.”
Carol Hagan said, “Free treatment or not, when your child is ill you should be able to take them to the nearest hospital”, while Emma Sallows added, “As a paramedic it’s heartbreaking and frustrating taking a parent and child from their Eastbourne home pass the DGH to the Conquest at 3am, leaving them there wondering how on earth they’re going to get back and how much a taxi might be.” Terri Taylor added, “It’s the management that is in question not the frontline nursing staff. I think most people understand that the staff are in an awful position too.”
A spokesperson for East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust told the Herald if a child was assessed by the ambulance service as being in a life threatening condition or if they fit the agreed minor injuries protocol they would go to the DGH. They added, “The vast majority would go to Hastings, unless their condition or their geographical location dictates they should go to another unit.”