Almost 100 staff face having to re-apply for their jobs as part of a shake-up at the DGH.
East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the hospital and its sister site in nearby Hastings, confirmed this week that 82 employees are affected by the latest stage of its restructuring – including 16 matrons.
A spokesman for the trust explained that under the new layout, the title of matron will no longer exist and be replaced by a head of nursing or equivalent for each of the 12 clinical units.
A Trust spokesman told the Herald, “Following the integration on April 1 of the hospital trust and community services, we have reviewed our organisational structure.
“We have formed three new clinical divisions which encompass both the former acute trust and community services and we have just gone through a period of restructuring which has involved staff at a senior level having to apply for new posts within the structure.
“It is our intention now to cascade this restructuring process further down the organisation. However, this will not involve all members of staff.”
He also confirmed that the trust would aim to keep redundancies to a minimum – looking instead to redeploy affected staff elsewhere in the trust.
The usual NHS approach is to offer staff pay protection if forced to move to a lower grade job.
Health campaigner Liz Walke, who heads the Save the DGH group and has long-lobbied for the protection of key services here in Eastbourne said the news had certainly raised concerned eyebrows.
She said, “This has got to be extremely unsettling for staff. We just hope it’s not a precursor to slashing staff and core services at the DGH.
“As we have said before and we say again we will fight any threat to the downgrading or removal of 24/7 core services at our local DGH.
“The public do have a say in what services are provided at their local DGH and they have made it very clear 24/7 core services (including maternity and cardiology among others) at Eastbourne DGH are non-negotiable.”