Eastbourne campaigners said it is ‘totally unacceptable’ for the chairman and board members of East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust to stay in post – following another ‘inadequate’ CQC report.
Save the DGH, a campaign group set up in 2006 to fight the downgrading of core services at Eastbourne DGH, said chairman Stuart Welling and directors responsible for the ‘catalogue of errors’ at the hospitals cannot continue in their positions.
Liz Walke, chair of the Save the DGH campaign: “They have made decisions over the past two or three years which have had a major impact on local people and their staff and there has been no consideration made for the awful journey between the two hospitals when reconfiguring services.
“What we need is change and it can only start from the top.
“The chairman, Stuart Welling and the medical director for strategy, Andy Slater have been very instrumental in all that has gone on over the past few years and they should do the decent thing and resign.”
Mrs Walke added a change in top management is likely to bring a ‘culture of change’, provided they are replaced with people who will work well with staff and patients.
She said: “Staff need to be able to speak out when things go wrong or they can see problems when reconfiguring a service.
And the need for staff to live near their place of work is quite a high priority for most working people.
“We predicted difficulties in retaining current staff when services were relocated as most people cannot add two hours to their working day with added expense of travelling.
“Hopefully all of this can be looked at to ensure there are enough staff to cater for the needs of the local population with core services provided at both EDGH and the Conquest not either or. We would be happy to work with new trust management to bring this about.”
A spokesman for East Sussex Healthcare Trust said: “Stuart Welling agreed with the TDA in July that in order to give some stability and continuity to the trust he would stay until a new chair is appointed.
“The TDA is progressing the appointments process for a successor chairman and Stuart Welling will stay in post until a new chair joins the trust.”
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