More cuts at the DGH?

Given the perilous state of the finances of the East Sussex Healthcare Trust, as outlined in your article (May 7)for patients.

For any commercial organisation faced by growing losses and suffering cash flow problems, the most likely survival strategy would involve cuts in salaries, reductions in staff numbers and the cessation of unprofitable services.

So could this mean that patients can look forward to the possibility of the following occurring within the ESHT?

1. A reduction in staff numbers which could result in delays to treatments.

2. A further switch of services from the DGH to the Conquest because the Trust cannot afford to maintain services on both sites.

3. A cessation of certain services within the Trust resulting in patients having to travel considerable distance to continue their treatments.

4. Recent changes to maternity and paediatrics becoming permanent by default because there are no funds to support a reconfiguration. Although this may be “uncharted waters” for the Trust, given that there are senior managers earning six-figure salaries, one would hope that their years of NHS experience would allow them to plot a course that will guarantee the timely delivery of quality health care for all patients.

It would also be reassuring to the patients if the Board and the senior management were to become actively engaged with the public, to listen to their concerns and to provide answers that would allay fears.

From remarks passed at the Board meeting ESHT is not the only Trust experiencing financial difficulties for the year 2013/14.

Should not all our local MPs be writing to the Secretary of State for Health and asking why the clinical commissioning groups which are supposed to be representing the patients are seeking to reduce income levels in these straitened times?


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