Herald Opinion: It can’t be easy working under the cloud of a £30 million overspend

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As any employer will know, days lost through stress are a good indicator that all is not well in their workplace.

So we should hardly be surprised that the NHS trust which runs the DGH appears to be on the sick list itself in terms of the number of days lost through ill health.

More than 7,500 working days were lost to stress and anxiety absences in the past six months alone. That equates roughly to one day off for every one of the trust’s 7,500 workforce - for stress alone, not other ailments or sickness.

Day in, day out, the majority of hospital staff - doctors, nurses and ancillary - are pushing themselves to the limit to provide the best care they can for patients.

It can’t be easy working under the cloud of a £30 million overspend. Anxious staff are forever looking over their shoulders, worried about losing their jobs, and morale hasn’t been helped either by plans to downgrade pay levels of nurses in a host of DGH departments.

At the same time, we learn this week that hospital staff are being attacked at a rate of more than one a week by the very people they are trying to treat.

Statistics can sometimes give a distorted picture and whilst we accept the trust’s view that these figures reflect in part on improved reporting procedures, it is still a fact that hospitals are more prone to violent behaviour than ever before.

So at the turn of a new year we should spare more than a thought for those who care for us and for our town’s much-cherished hospital.

Many of us will face big challenges this year at home and at work. But for the DGH they will come thick and fast. The fight to keep services and for the very future of the hospital as we know it, will be an emotional ride. Just think how that will play out on the minds of those who live and breathe it every day of their working lives.


THE tenants of the Wish Tower cafe led Eastbourne Borough Council a merry dance. And it left officers and councillors feeling anything but merry when the state of the building was publicly revealed just before Christmas.

Now the council has had the good sense to tell us why it had to pay out £37k in compensation to retrieve a building it now needs to demolish. The issue was a lease signed in 1969, requiring the tenants to keep up and sustain the building but not to improve it. Between then and now, presumably any council administration could have invested in the building. None did.

In the end, it seems the compensation deal was as good as the law would allow. So let’s be grateful for that small mercy.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. In the spirit of a new year, instead of bickering let’s now see some political unity in securing a future for this gem of a seafront site.