Once again, we read that the Pevensey Ward project has been put on hold by the East Sussex Healthcare Trust (ESHT). To say that we are disappointed is a big understatement, and it is a blow for all who have campaigned and fund-raised for this desperately needed redevelopment. It is particularly so, since work commenced on the planning phase earlier this year. The Trustees of the Friends of the Eastbourne Hospital met several times with builders and architects, retained by the Trust, to agree how the funds held by the Friends could be used to enhance the project. Only a few weeks ago, as Chairman of the Friends, I met with the Trust’s representative and agreed to meet a small short fall between the anticipated cost and ESHT’s budgeted figure, with the balance going towards enhancements. Meetings were deemed urgent as a start date in October was given. Now, we discover that there is a significant gap between the cost anticipated by the Trust and that required by the contractor!
Yet again, our supporters have been misled into believing that the end was in sight only to have the finishing line vanish into the distance. They have been extremely patient, and whilst this must now be wearing very thin, I ask them to bear with us. The Friends remain committed to seeing this project through to a successful conclusion and we will continue with our efforts to do so.
On behalf of the Trustees of the Friends and, in particular, myself, I would like to apologise to all of our supporters for any part we have had, no matter how inadvertent, in misleading them.
chairman of the Friends of the Hospitals