The ArgusSussex hospitals 'at risk' from new Care Bill (From The Argus)

Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.

Sussex hospitals 'at risk' from new Care Bill

The Argus: Eastbourne District General Hospital Eastbourne District General Hospital

Hospitals in Sussex could be put at risk after the Government voted through sweeping new powers for ministers.

A clause in the Care Bill passed this week means Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt can close hospital departments and wards with just 40 days notice for financial reasons instead of over care.

Opposition MPs have warned organisations experiencing tough financial pressures, like East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, could be vulnerable.

The NHS in East Sussex, which included the trust and the county’s clinical commissioning groups, has already been earmarked by health regulator Monitor as an area of financial concern.

External experts are due to be appointed at the end of this month to help the county’s health organisations identify £200 million of savings over the next five years while sustaining existing services.

There has already been anger over the downgrading of the consultant-led maternity unit at Eastbourne District General Hospital and sending pregnant women in need of urgent treatment to the Conquest Hospital in St Leonards instead.

Other changes have included transferring emergency and urgent general and orthopaedic surgery from Eastbourne to St Leonards.

All NHS organisations are required to save a certain amount of their budget every year, but East Sussex also has a history of overspending which needs to be addressed to get the county's health economy back on track.

Labour’s health spokesman, Andy Burnham, said the new law established a “dangerous principle” that decisions about closures would be “financially rather than clinically driven”.

Health minister Dan Poulter insisted the new powers would only be used “in the most exceptional circumstances”, where patients’ lives were at risk or a trust had failed financially.

Liz Walke, from Eastbourne, who heads the Save the DGH Campaign, said: “This clause is quite worrying but the bigger cause for concern is the current position where our local hospital has seen vital services removed because of what appears to be bad management.

“If this clause does something to remove bad management, we would not be totally opposed to it but if services are removed without public consultation this clause is wrong.”

The trust declined to comment, saying the issue was a political matter.

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

7:24am Thu 13 Mar 14

RK_Brighton says...

Pretty shocking actions by the Government.

Hunt wanted to close a well performing, financially secure A&E unit based on financial reasons rather than patient car. Was told by the courts his actions were unlawful and so he's now changed the law.

Means the effect on patients in a local area no longer need to be considered when looking at hospital services. Instead it can all be based on central governments financial reasons.

Total abuse of power and position by our Government. Disgusting behaviour that will just mean worse health care for the public and more politician meddling in what services are available.
Pretty shocking actions by the Government. Hunt wanted to close a well performing, financially secure A&E unit based on financial reasons rather than patient car. Was told by the courts his actions were unlawful and so he's now changed the law. Means the effect on patients in a local area no longer need to be considered when looking at hospital services. Instead it can all be based on central governments financial reasons. Total abuse of power and position by our Government. Disgusting behaviour that will just mean worse health care for the public and more politician meddling in what services are available. RK_Brighton
  • Score: 7

1:30pm Thu 13 Mar 14

L bailey says...

I really do not think Andy Burnham has the right to speak about the NHS. When he left office after the 2010 election he left a note to the new minister taking over from him saying, " we have spent all the money ha ha ". Hypocrite comes to mind.
I really do not think Andy Burnham has the right to speak about the NHS. When he left office after the 2010 election he left a note to the new minister taking over from him saying, " we have spent all the money ha ha ". Hypocrite comes to mind. L bailey
  • Score: 0

7:40pm Thu 13 Mar 14

Chris_K says...

L bailey wrote:
I really do not think Andy Burnham has the right to speak about the NHS. When he left office after the 2010 election he left a note to the new minister taking over from him saying, " we have spent all the money ha ha ". Hypocrite comes to mind.
I suggest you acquaint yourself of the facts before you make ridiculous remarks in the future.

Andy Burnham left no such note.

Liam Byrne left the note. The note said "I'm afraid there is no money" so very different from the nonsense you posted.

http://www.itv.com/n
ews/update/2013-06-2
4/infamous-liam-byrn
e-treasury-memo-seen
-for-first-time/

I also recommend you look up Reginald Maudling on Wiki to see what he left in his note to the incoming Chancellor.

The notes are intended as a joke & have been in existence for years but you, like David Laws, are obviously lacking in knowledge of political practices.
[quote][p][bold]L bailey[/bold] wrote: I really do not think Andy Burnham has the right to speak about the NHS. When he left office after the 2010 election he left a note to the new minister taking over from him saying, " we have spent all the money ha ha ". Hypocrite comes to mind.[/p][/quote]I suggest you acquaint yourself of the facts before you make ridiculous remarks in the future. Andy Burnham left no such note. Liam Byrne left the note. The note said "I'm afraid there is no money" so very different from the nonsense you posted. http://www.itv.com/n ews/update/2013-06-2 4/infamous-liam-byrn e-treasury-memo-seen -for-first-time/ I also recommend you look up Reginald Maudling on Wiki to see what he left in his note to the incoming Chancellor. The notes are intended as a joke & have been in existence for years but you, like David Laws, are obviously lacking in knowledge of political practices. Chris_K
  • Score: 1

11:28am Fri 14 Mar 14

L bailey says...

Regardless of who said what it shows them for the idiots they are. I don't find it funny or a joke an utter disgrace.
Regardless of who said what it shows them for the idiots they are. I don't find it funny or a joke an utter disgrace. L bailey
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree