From: Brian Valentine
High Street, Westham
read Monica Corrina-Kavakli’s exasperated call for equal core service provision in Maternity, Paediatrics and therefore necessarily anaesthetics, at both Eastbourne DGH and Hastings with understanding as the prevailing situation is far from idea for all concerned, including a lot of the staff.
A week previously we had read of the desire for the midwifery unit to increase its number of deliveries from the present 261 to 500, but 27 per cent of their patients had to be transferred to Hastings before delivery because of the present arrangements.
Provided by Eastbourne, Hailsham & Seaford CCG [EHSCCG] since sanctioning the move to one site full Obstetric and Midwifery services, as requested by the then East Sussex Healthcare Trust Management [ESHT] and sanctioned by the East Sussex Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee[HOSC] in 2013/4. The so aptly called ‘suits’ in her letter.
It is likely there are central pressures for such arrangements as they appear common around the country; although West Sussex managed to keep both of their maternity units open to provide reasonable access and equal facilities at both ends of their county.
If ESHT can provide ophthalmological facilities at Hasting, Bexhill and Eastbourne giving the patients the choice of where they wish to be seen, which must be applauded, it does seem perverse that a similar option for maternity and paediatric care is not available. Especially as to do so would allow the present midwifery unit to be used to its full potential thus enhancing the regular experience of the midwives as only about 10 per cent of cases require obstetric teamwork and the delivery rate when the unit was downgraded was about 2,000 per annum.
The Eastbourne Council Maternity Review for 2016 showed in the free comments that whatever the reasonable statistics on outcomes there was a problem with trying to cram too many maternity cases through the Conquest unit. Everybody is grateful for the way staff copes but people are not fools and know when a unit and its staff are being asked to cope in adverse conditions. A problem that can only get worse with the housing developments across the county. Hopefully the ‘suits’ and county councillors will see the light before they are forced to confront an irredeemable situation for a family, when ‘Sorry’ will not be good enough.