Campaigners react to CQC and fight on

Seaford Health Cuts Campaigners March, April 13th 2013 E16034P'Save The DGH Campaigner Liz Walke
Seaford Health Cuts Campaigners March, April 13th 2013 E16034P'Save The DGH Campaigner Liz Walke

Save the DGH campaigner Liz Walke has described the CQC report as a ‘whitewash’.

The decision to downgrade maternity and paediatric departments by moving services to Hastings’ Conquest Hospital has been unpopular among local people.

The Save the DGH campaigners are working to have all core services reinstated at the Eastbourne hospital.

This week, campaigners reacted to the positive report by the CQC about the safety of maternity and paediatric services across the two hospitals.

Liz Walke said, “I feel it is a whitewash. We have seen before that these reports seem to follow NHS management.

“This is exactly what happened at Mid Staffs – the reports were OK but on the ground it was a nightmare.

“It is people’s real life experiences that matter here, not the reports.”

Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd added, “I arranged a meeting yesterday in Eastbourne with the CQC and the local paediatricians to discuss the CQC’s report.

“It became very clear to me the clinicians retain real doubts over some of the findings and the methodology of the inspection. I have asked the paediatricians to read the report in detail and let me know of their specific concerns, which they have agreed to do for next week. However, one question we did put to the CQC yesterday demonstrates, I think, why the paediatricians retain anxieties. They asked if the CQC could say whether or not children’s services at the DGH are safer or as safe as they were before the re-configuration of paediatric services. The CQC representative would not be drawn into giving a direct answer to this question; saying only it was beyond the remit of their report. To me and the clinicians present, this was an unsatisfactory answer.”

Mrs Walke has vowed to fight on and will hold a protest march at 10am on Saturday, September 7 at the Sussex Downs College Fields on Kings Drive.