Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.
Hospitals duo urged to quit by Sussex MPs
Two Sussex MPs have called for the resignation of senior hospital bosses following a controversial decision to downgrade a maternity unit.
The unit at Eastbourne District General Hospital is due to change from a consultant-led to a midwife-led department in the next six or seven weeks.
The consultant-led service, neonatal and special care baby unit, inpatient paediatric and emergency gynaecology services will be based at Conquest Hospital in St Leonards instead.
The MPs for Eastbourne and Lewes are now calling for chief executive Darren Grayson and chairman Stuart Welling to stand down.
Campaigners, who successfully fought similar plans to bring in the changes in 2007, say lives will be put at risk.
Bosses at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust say the temporary downgrade has been made because of safety concerns caused by problems with recruiting enough staff to run the unit.
The trust is also planning a shake-up of other services between the two hospitals, which will mean emergency general and orthopaedic surgery will no longer be carried out at the DGH.
Lib Dem Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd said: “I feel the chief executive and chairman have failed to serve our hospital well. Both Mr Grayson and Mr Welling need to consider their position and step down.
“This will allow a fresh team to come in and take the necessary steps to protect consultant-led maternity at the Eastbourne DGH.”
Lewes MP Norman Baker said: “I am afraid that this is the latest in a long line of worrying moves by the management at the DGH and I am sorry to say that I, and I suspect many others, have now lost trust and confidence in them, and share the view that a change of management at the top of the trust is now necessary.”
A trust spokeswoman said: “We understand the concerns, however the decision to make these temporary changes is purely on the grounds of safety.
“We have listened to the serious concerns raised by all our obstetricians, senior midwives and the majority of our paediatricians and the external expert advice in obstetrics and paediatrics.
“We have a responsibility for ensuring that mothers, babies and children receive the safest possible care.
“We reiterate that any permanent changes to the service will be subject to a full public consultation within the next 18 months.”
See the latest news headlines from The Argus:
- Political coup to oust Brighton and Hove council leader fails
- Open day at well-being centre in Hove
- Sussex Boat owners urged to carry out safety checks
- Sussex mum of eight guilty of £350,000 benefit fraud
- Plans for rooftop gardens in Brighton and Hove