Future of maternity and paediatric services at the DGH discussed at meeting

Residents turned out to a meeting in Lewes today (Friday) where controversial options over how maternity and paediatric services will be delivered in the long term at the DGH and Conquest Hospital in Hastings were discussed.

The six options, published by the three local East Sussex Clinical Commissioning Groups, do not include consultant-led maternity at both the Eastbourne and the Hastings hospital or in-patient paediatrics at both sites.

At today’s meeting at County Hall the East Sussex Health and Overview Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) spoke about the proposals and whether they constitute a substantial change to local health services.

Around 25 members of the public turned out to listen to HOSC discuss the options, which the CCG say are aimed at achieving safer and better NHS maternity and paediatric services.

HOSC agreed that the service change proposals do constitute a substantial variation to health service provision and it will now be bringing together evidence in order to put forward recommendations, which could see the matter referred to the Secretary of State.

Eastbourne Borough Councillor John Ungar, who is on the HOSC committee said after the meeting, “We’re gathering evidence so we can prepare a report and recommendations.

“That recommendation could be that the proposals put forward are reasonable and will provide a good service or we have the option of referring it to the Secretary of State.”

If it is the latter then this could see the Secretary of State calling in an independent body to review the matter and make the final decision on the future of the services.

HOSC will be carrying out a review from February to June.

In the meantime the CCGS will be carrying out consultation with the public from January 14 until April 8.