Your article suggested primary care trusts in East Sussex were 'slammed' for 'failing to consult on plans for a radical redesign of maternity services'. This is not the case. The independent reconfiguration panel said it was 'impressed by the thoroughness of aspects of the consultation and proposal development' in East Sussex.

It strongly supported the PCTs' proposals to improve antenatal and postnatal care and outreach services, but said consultant-led maternity services should be retained at Conquest Hospital and Eastbourne District General Hospital. This followed different guidance on the viability of such units published after the consultation. The panel said this new advice offered "alternative approaches to maintaining small units, which could be revisited in the light of guidance published since the consultation was carried out".

Vanessa Harris, chief executive, East Sussex Downs and Weald PCT and Hastings and Rother PCT