PERHAPS we should have been reassured that, in a full-page advert, in the last issue of the Herald, a stroke specialist supports the proposed changes to Eastbourne and Hastings hospitals, but we are not.
For a start, we’re left wondering who paid for this advert. Surely the funds of a cash-strapped NHS aren’t being used for propaganda purposes.
We also wonder why the author, as he claims, thinks that centralisation of the stroke units would make clot-busting drugs more freely available. Why would it?
We wonder, too, why he thinks there is a comparison between centralising London hospitals, in close proximity to each other and centralising far-flung hospitals here.
So, people accept that they should travel to centres of excellence for brain or heart surgery.
These, however, are not emergencies, while a stroke is. Another highly dubious comparison.
The cat is let out of the bag, when the advert states that the hospitals will be put “for the first time on a sound financial basis”.
This will hardly reassure the great majority, who fear that these so-called improvements are really a vehicle for cut-backs.
The Eastbourne A&E is safe, we are told, but is it? Are any of the services safe?
As Pastor Neimoller might have put it: First, they came for the stroke unit, but I remained silent, because I had not had a stroke.
Then, they came for the maternity unit and I remained silent, because I was not pregnant.
Then, they came for orthopaedics, psychiatric, A&E and...I forgot not to fall ill.
Martin Hillman and David Ellis, Hawks Road, Hailsham