Eastbourne mothers urged to take part in new survey after loss of maternity services at DGH

Eastbourne District General Hospital (Photo by Jon Rigby)
Eastbourne District General Hospital (Photo by Jon Rigby)

This week all East Sussex mothers who registered a 2016 birth are set to receive a questionnaire from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The survey has been commissioned by Eastbourne Borough Council and is being overseen by the Council’s statutory monitoring officer in liaison with councillors, and under the governance criteria of the ONS.

The idea for the survey was proposed by Councillor Robert Smart, who broke new ground nationally in making these arrangements with the ONS.

Councillor Smart said, “It is imperative that health services are designed to satisfy the demands of the population.

“It is therefore high time that such a comprehensive survey is conducted. The anonymity of all respondents is absolutely protected and I urge all mothers receiving the questionnaire to take part.”

Councillor David Tutt, Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, approved the undertaking of the survey by the Council.

He said, “The Council has been rigorous in representing the interests of mothers, particularly in the wake of the loss of a full obstetric service at the Eastbourne District General Hospital.

“We are firmly on the record with our views expressed in response to the ‘better beginnings’ consultation that led to that change in 2014.

“It is vital that we now monitor the current levels of service and I would join Councillor Smart in encouraging the highest possible response to this survey.”

Honorary Freeman Liz Walke, the Council’s Hospitals Champion and Chair of the Save the DGH Campaign Group, said, “We have lots of individual stories of recent experiences, including those of babies born by the roadside, but not a complete picture which this survey should provide.

“Eastbourne Borough Council’s willingness to undertake this important research is to be welcomed and, hopefully, the results obtained directly from mothers will be used to address any service issues that are identified”