Campaigners call for a full maternity unit return at Eastbourne District General Hospital (From The Argus)
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Campaigners call for a full maternity unit return at Eastbourne District General Hospital
Campaigners have vowed to fight for the reinstatement of consultant-led hospital maternity services.
Aconsultation has been launched asking the public to give their views on future maternity and children’s hospital services in East Sussex.
The move follows a controversial decision to downgrade the consultant- led maternity unit at Eastbourne District General Hospital (DGH) to a midwife-led one.
The consultant service, neonatal and special care baby unit, inpatient paediatric and emergency gynaecology services are now based at Conquest Hospital in St Leonards.
East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs both hospitals, made the temporary change in May.
It said it was for safety reasons because of problems recruiting staff.
The GP-led bodies responsible for commissioning healthcare in East Sussex are now asking people to help them come up with long-term options for the future.
Matt Jackson, clinical chief officer elect of Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “The CCGs are fully committed to establishing safe, high-quality and sustainable health services for women and children in East Sussex in the longer term.
“We want the public and patients to consider the case for changing these services and help inform options for how they might be delivered in future in a way that meets the needs of local families. There are no proposals for change as yet.”
Liz Walke from the Save the DGH campaign group said: “The geography of our county significantly impacts on the safety of women travelling whilst in labour.
“We are going to strongly fight for a configuration of maternity and paediatric service which will see consultants at both hospitals.
“The safety of women and their families is of the highest importance and that includes outside the hospital walls whilst travelling as well as inside the hospital.”
For details visit their website.
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