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East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Minister wades in against East Sussex reconfig plans

STRUCTURE: East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust has attracted opposition from a transport minister to its plans to restructure some services between its two main hospitals.

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The trust recently published its “Shaping our Future” consultation document, setting out plans to reduce duplication of services between its two main sites: Conquest Hospital in Hastings and Eastbourne District General Hospital.

Transport minister Norman Baker, who is Liberal Democrat MP for Seaford and Polegate, has said he backs the “Save Eastbourne DGH” campaign, which has opposed the plans on the grounds that the hospital will lose services.

In a statement on his website, Mr Baker said the proposals would significantly affect his constituents if a number of important services, such as stroke and trauma care, were centralised in Hastings.  

For example, he said the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton could become the closest hospital for residents of Seaford, while residents of Polegate would be forced to go to Hastings, nearly 10 miles further than Eastbourne, along the slow A259.

He said: “While I understand that no decision has been made publicly yet on where the changes will be made, with Brighton a fixed point of delivery and Eastbourne’s relative proximity to Brighton, when compared to that of Hastings, it does not bode well for retaining these important services at the EDGH.

“I appreciate that the trust is under some financial and clinical pressures, but we simply cannot have a two tier health system where those who live in Hastings and Brighton get a good service and those who rely on Eastbourne getting the short end of the stick.”

Readers' comments (1)

  • Perhaps HE should do the decent thing and resign because it seems incompatible being part of a government that seeks efficiency savings in health (rightly) while actively campaigning against the very changes that will allow these savings. Perhaps WE shouldn't hold our breath!

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