Patient Forum voices concerns

A PATIENT forum has become the latest group to speak out against controversial plans to centralise key services at either the DGH or its sister hospital in Hastings.

The Lighthouse Medical Practice Patient Forum signalled its strong support for the Save the DGH campaign, which is attempting to stop East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust from moving stroke care, general surgery and orthopaedics to just one site.

In a letter to the Herald, a group spokesman said, “Forum members register their total opposition to any proposals to downgrade the DGH.

“Implementation of these plans on any specialities will act on the domino principle and other cuts will follow.

“Anyone with a basic grasp of stroke care knows prompt action is vital and an ambulance journey of some 45-60 minutes utterly defeats this.

“Emergencies require speed, be they stroke victims, babies or child meningitis cases. We do not have any confidence in the unelected, unaccountable officials who make these far-reaching decisions.

“Some who solemnly recommend change do not live in the town, or even county, so they and their families are unlikely to encounter the perils of an emergency dash along totally inadequate roads.

“The perception is these proposals have nothing to do with efficiency and everything to do with cost.”