There is a real prospect that both maternity and cardiology services could be lost from Eastbourne's District General Hospital. The stark warning, from Polegate and Seaford's MP Norman Baker, comes after an hour-long meeting between the Lib Dem MP and Darren Grayson, Chief Executive of the East Sussex Healthcare Trust that runs the DGH.
Norman says: "It is quite clear to me that financial and clinical pressures are likely to lead to a rationalisation of delivery of these key services in East Sussex, and with Brighton a fixed point of delivery, Eastbourne's relative proximity to Brighton, when compared to that of Hastings, does not bode well. I fear we are heading towards a two-tier NHS acute response in East Sussex, with Brighton and Hastings on tier one, and Eastbourne on tier two.
"This raises serious issues for my constituents and begs the question: what has changed since the IPR report that rejected the downgrade that the local NHS management now seems to want to try breathe fresh life into. I will steadfastly and strongly oppose any changes that disadvantage my constituents.
Norman also pressed Darren Grayson hard on the revelation that the Trust had spent more than £4m on consultancy fees and questioned both their use and the fees charged. He has asked for a breakdown of the work undertaken and an explanation why internal NHS expertise could not have been used.
Contact Norman at:
23 East Street,
Tel: (01273) 480281.
Fax: (01273) 480287.