MP highlights staff’s fears at meeting on DGH

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Dozens of hospital trust employees have shared their concerns over the future of DGH services with the town’s MP Stephen Lloyd.

The politician told the Herald he had spoken to around 40 to 50 people, which also included GPs, and highlighted some of those fears at a meeting of the Health and Overview Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) this week.

It is bringing together evidence in order to put forward recommendations on the issue, which could see the matter referred to the Secretary of State.

This follows the three local East Sussex Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) publishing six options on how maternity and paediatric services will be delivered in the long term at the DGH and Conquest Hospital in Hastings. The options do not include consultant-led maternity at both sites.

Mr Lloyd said he read out a series of concerns from a senior clinician at Monday’s meeting, adding, “It’s really important any final decision on our own maternity service must be properly objective and put safety first, irrespective of cost.”

DGH campaigner Liz Walke said, “HOSC is the one body which can force either the CCG or the Hospital Trust to revisit their whole approach to maternity provision for mums in Eastbourne and the surrounding area. I do hope and pray they use these powers to stop the DGH losing its consultant led maternity before it is too late.”

Amanda Philpott, joint chief officer of Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford CCG and Hastings and Rother CCG, said, “The consultation is entirely driven by the need to improve the long-term safety and quality of these services. Our six options were informed by widespread public and clinical engagement and are the only ones we believe will allow us to provide maternity, paediatric and emergency gynaecology services in a safe and high-quality way in the long term.”