THE BOSS of the DGH has warned people in Eastbourne to get used to the idea that they may have to travel to Hastings for treatment.
Darren Grayson said the economic climate and financial pressures means the DGH and its sister hospital will have to adapt to pooling their resources for patients.
And that could mean key services end up being centralised at either one or the other.
Chief executive of the trust which runs the two sites, Mr Grayson, who has been tasked with finding £30 million of savings this year alone, said this week, “We will need to look at things as one hospital on two sites.
“We will simply not be able to afford – and it does not always serve patients well – to have two of everything, one in Hastings and one in Eastbourne.
“Where we have expensive duplications of services across the trust we will have to look at that. .
“The harsh reality is that we have to provide the best healthcare with the money which is made available. The Government does not hand the NHS a blank cheque.”
But campaigners, who are already battling to save core services at the DGH say they will fight to the bitter end at any plans to lose core services such as maternity and cardiology.
Head of the Save the DGH campaign Liz Walke said she was horrified at the threat, said the town a size of Eastbourne could not afford to have any downgrading of services and the trust board should think again.
“Eastbourne DGH and the Conquest are two separate hospitals not one,” she said.
“Does Mr Grayson realise how difficult is for people to travel out of their local area to a hospital just under an hour away – and what about an emergency?
“If the trust members are thinking of removing core services from the DGH, the price is too high and they need to look at other alternatives.
“As a campaign, we will fight to retain our core services at Eastbourne DGH and we will do whatever we can to ensure this happens.
“This is what the public have said they want.
“We want a thriving local hospital with all the essential core services and more, and we will fight tooth and nail to keep them.
“We want a place of excellence where, when the NHS regulators go in, they report the best hospital rating with patient and staff satisfaction at its highest.”