Why the fight to save the DGH will continue

We were surprised and disappointed to read the letter from ESHT Chief Executive.

The Save the DGH Campaign was set up in 2006 to fight against the removal of consultant-led maternity. It won this fight in September 2008.

Since then there have been various threats to localcore services, which the campaign group has successfully opposed. The enormous local public support has been quite overwhelming and far exceeded expectations.

The campaign group always seeks the advice and wise counsel of GPs, consultants and many others involved in the healthcare sector. If they express concerns, we act. The achievements of our campaigns have been recognised nationally and should not be ignored.

Furthermore the NHS is being encouraged to become more patient-aware and have greater public engagement. How has ESHT engaged with the public?

The Save the DGH Campaign accepts that evolution and improvements to our services are essential.

However, we absolutely oppose the removal of core services – the services you need in an emergency. We have repeatedly stated that there is no point in having specialist treatment at one hospital at the expense of the other if time is of the essence to achieve better outcomes for patients.

Furthermore, the domino effect and resulting cottage hospital scenario is one we remain committed to fight against.

Simply put, the vast majority of all practising doctors from Eastbourne and surrounding areas are against the removal of emergency orthopaedics and emergency general surgery from the DGH.

If local clinicians AND the public are against the changes, why is ESHT proceeding?

There is one area of agreement between us and Mr Grayson – ESHT is in a financial mess and needs to make significant efficiencies in the way it spends its budget.

We will be continuing to fight to stop our hospital from becoming a cottage hospital. Whilst we remain concerned about the management and direction of ESHT we aim to continue our dialogue with the local Clinical Commissioning Group, who will be responsible for commissioning our local NHS services from April 2013.

LIZ WALKE, chair of the Save the DGH Campaign