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Eastbourne & Willingdon Lib Dems

Health Watch organises hospital CCG question time at the Winter Gardens.

March 12, 2014 3:14 PM

Earlier this week, a national patient representative group, Health Watch, organised a question time event at the Winter Gardens to discuss the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) proposals around Maternity and Paediatrics. Representatives on the panel from the SavetheDGH campaign were the Chair Liz Walke and Stephen Lloyd MP. The other members included Dr Martin Writer, CCG Chair, Dr Mark Barnes, CCG Maternity and Paediatric Clinical Lead, along with the CCG's Operational Director, Amanda Philpott.

Liz Walke said: "I was very disappointed at the whole tenor of the meeting. It was clear to me and I think most of the audience that the decision has already been made to single-site, despite protestation, and retain consultant led Maternity only at the Conquest in Hastings. They are not listening! If Caithness can provide a consultant-led safe Maternity service for 500 births, why can't we in Eastbourne for at least four times that? The promises made a few months ago that it was only to be a temporary solution once the safety issues had been cleared up were complete lies. It appears that sadly the local NHS cannot be trusted."

Stephen said: "From the very beginning of the CCG consultation I have had profound doubts over the fact that none of the 6 options include a significant consultant presence at both the DGH and Conquest. This is something that we as a cross-party campaign group are attempting to remedy with an option of our own that includes consultant led Maternity at the DGH. It was also felt strongly by many member of the audience that stopping 24 hour care at Eastbourne paediatrics was a completely unacceptable consequence of the reconfiguration of our Maternity provision towards Hastings. This is a view I share, so I took the opportunity to emphasise to the CCG members on the panel that as the ultimate funders of our local Hospital Trust, they must insist on some level of 24 hour paediatric care. Otherwise sick children will have to continue to be unnecessarily transferred on what we all know to be a shocking road to the Conquest Hospital."

He added: "I was also very disappointed that Health Watch didn't do a much bigger media push to ensure that more people were aware of the event, I welcome the 40 that turned up but know that many many more would have come if they knew about the event."