Like getting blood from a stone?

AT this time of upheaval in the NHS, close scrutiny of our local service is a necessity.

However, at the East Sussex Health Overview and Scrutiny meeting last Thursday, the terms blood and stone came to mind.

Chief executive of the DGH Darren Grayson was unwilling to answer a question on whether other methods of staffing had been tried in an effort to avert the maternity crisis.

However, after repeated questioning Mr Grayson said that he was not running Dad’s Army.

He was then offered several examples of how other hospitals had dealt successfully with a similar situation.

It eventually transpired that the DGH had not tried other models, but they ‘will’ now look into it.

Let’s hope that the unit does not close before then. I have sent Mr Grayson a list of 30 functioning similar-sized consultant-led maternity units in the UK.

Mr Grayson was then asked what options had been discussed with the Care Quality Commission at their recent visit.

Answer came there none. So we do not know if a two-site option was discussed, or whether the Commission will recommend closure without having considered this.

Darren Grayson said at the meeting ‘the NHS will be governed and behave much more like private organisations’.

Let’s hope this will not preclude scrutiny.

The webcam of the meeting can be viewed on the East Sussex County Council website.

Councillor Alex Hough

Old Orchard Road