Herald comment: maternity unit betrayal cuts more deeply than ever

So what has changed in the past five years, since the A259 and a journey to Hastings was deemed a dangerous prospect for expectant Eastbourne mothers?

Nothing has changed.

Well in fact it has. The road is certainly busier than it was and the changing demographic of Eastbourne will certainly mean more women giving birth and in need of maternity services.

Oh yes, and the country’s finances - and the NHS in particular - are in an even more perilous state than they were back in 2008 when a secretary of state trashed the plan to amalgamate maternity services on to one site.

Now surprise, surprise, staffing shortages will mean shared maternity services betwen the DGH and the Conquest hospital - temporarily.

So how temporary is this move? Shortage of staff is a failure of management. A poor sickness record is often an indicator of weak leadership. So are we to believe that all this will sudddenly change and normal service will be resumed?Prove us wrong, please, but this does appear to be the thin end of a very thick wedge.The softening up process seems to be gathering pace.

As one of this week’s letter writers puts it so succinctly, babies are not born to order between 9am and 5pm.Five years on, this betrayal cuts more deeply than ever into the veins of our town.