Letter: Trust working hard to deliver safe and high-quality service

Darren Grayson Chief Executive Officer East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust. May 17th 2011 E20063M
Darren Grayson Chief Executive Officer East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust. May 17th 2011 E20063M

LAST week we asked whether the DGH was losing the fight for its future. Polegate MP Norman Baker believed the loss of maternity and cardiology services was ‘a real prospect’ after a meeting with DGH chief executive Darren Grayson.

And he feared Sussex would end up with a ‘two-tier’ hospital system, with Eastbourne relegated to mere cottage hospital status. Click here to read the story

This week, Mr Grayson penned a letter to the Herald explaining his view.



I AM writing in reference to the front page story of last week’s Eastbourne Herald entitled “Is DGH losing the fight for its future?” and would like to clarify the situation at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust.

As chief executive, I can assure all local people that the answer to the question is ‘no’.

For more than a year the Trust has been working in partnership with primary and social care and representatives of local people on a plan to ensure the future of the DGH and Trust is clinically and financially sustainable in the future. The plans are looking at delivering safe and high quality services over the next five to 10 years across East Sussex. This has involved substantial input and engagement from Trust stakeholders and the public and has received significant media attention.

In the next few weeks we will be working with GP commissioner colleagues and East Sussex Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) to decide what aspects of this new plan may need formal public consultation.

The reason these plans are needed is because the NHS as a whole is facing some of the most significant challenges in its 63-year history. Demand for services is increasing; we have an ever-aging population with more people living longer with long term conditions while the cost of treatment, equipment, drug therapies and utilities is continually going up.

The NHS needs to make over £20 billion savings over the next five years and we have to play our part in East Sussex and make quality and productivity improvements.

We are developing a way forward to ensure we will deliver safe, effective and sustainable services for patients across East Sussex.

Services that offer improved patient outcomes, ease of access, choice of service which meet quality and safety standards.

For these reasons, it is clear we cannot carry on as we are – ‘no change’ is not an option. I understand local people are concerned about the future but we simply cannot stay as we are if we want to maintain safe, high quality healthcare for local people that are both clinically and financially sustainable.

It is clear there are some tough choices to be made. However, the plans we are developing are essential to ensuring local people across East Sussex have safe, high quality healthcare in the future and the DGH is an integral part of that plan.

Yours sincerely


Chief Executive

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust