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Options for long-term future of East Sussex maternity services published
Long-term plans for the future of maternity services in East Sussex will not include having full consultant-led departments in both Eastbourne and St Leonards.
Six options published today look at how services will be provided at Eastbourne District General Hospital, The Conquest in St Leonards and the Crowborough Birthing Centre.
It follows a review carried out earlier this year by the county's clinical commissioning groups (CCG) after East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust introduced temporary changes to the service in May.
The consultant-led department at Eastbourne was changed to a midwife-led one.
Consultant services, plus children’s in-patient services, are now currently based at the Conquest.
The temporary changes were needed to ensure patient safety as it was struggling to fill the posts needed to run consultant units at both hospitals.
However, protesters say lives will be put at risk if women who suffer complications during labour or who have an at- risk pregnancy are forced to travel further for treatment.
The six options include basing consultant services at either Eastbourne or St Leonards, but not at both.
CCGs are holding extraordinary meetings on Wednesday to decide whether the six options need to be referred to the East Sussex health overview and scrutiny committee watchdog..
The watchdog, which meets in January, will consider whether the options constitute a major change in service and should be put forward for a public consultation.
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