Controversial hospital plans to be discussed


The controversial options put forward to deliver maternity and paediatric services in the long term at the DGH and Conquest Hospital will be discussed at a meeting on Friday (January 10).

The six configurations have been slammed by campaigners because they do not include consultant-led maternity at both the Eastbourne and Hastings hospital.

The options, published by the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in December, do not include the provision of in-patient paediatrics at both sites.

At the public meeting at Friday East Sussex Health and Overview Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) will be speaking about the proposals and whether they constitute a substantial change to local health services and should therefore be subject to a formal public consultation.

The CCG say the options are aimed at achieving safer and better NHS maternity and paediatric services but when Save the DGH campaigner Liz Walke learned of the six options, which also looks at the future of maternity in Crowborough, she called it ‘absolutely appalling’.

Back in March last year East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust said it had been advised by doctors, midwives and nurses, together with the National Clinical Advisory Trust that maternity and paediatric services at that time in East Sussex could do not continue as they were.

NHS bosses went on to back temporary changes to maternity and paediatrics which meant that from the May the DGH became a midwifery-led maternity unit and children could no longer stay overnight in the Friston Ward.

The role of how the services would be provided in the long term falls to the three East Sussex CCGs.

HOSC, which is made up of East Sussex County Councillors and also includes district and borough councillors in East Sussex and voluntary sector representatives, has been recommended to agree that the proposals do constitute ‘substantial variation’ to health service provision and to undertake a detailed review of the proposals from February to June this year.

Friday’s meeting takes place at 10am at County Hall in Lewes and will also be available to view on the webcast via:

At the meeting HOSC will also discuss a report on the decisions made by the East Sussex Clinical Commissioning Groups in relation to the future provision of NHS beds for the admission and assessment of people with dementia in East Sussex.