Claims that the DGH’s A&E department could have its hours dramatically slashed has been branded ‘ludicrous’ by the hospital trust’s chief executive.
A letter sent to members of the GMB expressed concern that there was potential for the department to become a 9-5 service and ‘possible news’ that the trust could not afford to equip its new endoscopy suite.
The Herald has also been contacted by residents who believed A&E would have its hours cut but chief executive of the trust, Darren Grayson, said it would continue to open 24 hours a day.
Referring to the letter from the GMB about the department and the endoscopy suite he said, “These claims are absolutely ludicrous and unfounded.
“We would like to reassure local people the A&E department at Eastbourne DGH is and continues to be open 24/7 and there are no plans at all to reduce its hours of operation.
“Likewise, the newly opened endoscopy unit is fully functioning and equipped seeing around 140 patients a week, a third more patients than before the new unit opened.”
Gary Palmer, GMB organiser said, “The continued attacks to services at the EDGH are now beginning to come at a frightening pace, and asking the trust to be open and honest about these changes is only met with the answer only if the GMB promise to tell no-one.
“Further ward closures and the potential down grading of A&E to a 9am-5pm service, together with what we are hearing that there is a possible funding issue with regard to the trust being able to equip the new endoscopy suite, can only lead the GMB and its members to believe that the trust’s problems around recruitment will continue.”
The new Endoscopy Unit at the DGH opened its doors to patients for the first time on October 28 last year and was part of a new £5.7 million extension to the hospital.