One of two stroke wards at the Eastbourne DGH could close as part of a shake-up within the hospital.
A consultation is underway among staff over plans to close East Dean ward and move the services into Sovereign ward.
The hospital says no staff will lose their jobs and the “reconfiguration of wards” is down to patients spending less time in hospital.
Part of East Dean ward could be converted into a rehabilitation gym.
Joe Chadwick-Bell at the NHS trust which runs the DGH said, “Stroke services are currently provided across two wards. We are proposing that stroke services are merged onto one larger ward and transferring patients earlier into rehabilitation or non-acute services.
“This will allow expertise to be concentrated, with space for the rehabilitation gym in the other ward. Patients will be supported by a community stroke rehabilitation unit and specialist stoke services provided within the community.
Other proposals in the shake-up include converting a ward at both the DGH and Conquest into “escalation wards” over winter and for other times when there is a surge in demand.
It is likely to be Seaford 4 in Eastbourne and Benson ward at the Conquest.
In addition, a number of wards will change speciality, reflecting the changing needs of patients but final details have not been released.
Mr Chadwick-Bell said, “We have made significant improvement to the quality of care we provide to our patients and have seen many developments in treatments at our hospitals.
“This has meant that despite a growth in admissions, patients are spending less time in hospital during the acute phase of their care. This reduction in length of stay was a key factor in us being able to manage winter demand this year.
“This has allowed us to the opportunity to think about how patients are best supported in our hospital. As part of our annual planning we have developed a set of proposals to make sure we have the right sized wards to meet our patients’ need, ensuring more timely assessment and treatment for patients and taking into account reduced need during the summer and scaling up during the winter.”
A letter sent to staff this week said a proposal to configure wards at both the DGH and Conquest Hospital has been submitted to the trust’s executive board.
It said, “The board has accepted the proposal and as a result we will start a consultation period – on June 4 – with all affected staff to look at ways to best achieve delivery of the improved patient services and the potential impact it will have on individual staff members.”