Maternitt services will be maintained at three sites across East Sussex following a service reorganisation.

Health chiefs have agreed to retain birthing units at Crowborough, Eastbourne and Hastings following a consultation.

Maternity services at Eastbourne District General Hospital will remain as midwife-led after being controversially downgraded in May last year after patient safety concerns.

Campaigners expressed anger prior to yesterday’s meeting that none of the six options discussed by the three East Sussex Clinical Commission Groups proposed the resumption of consultant-led maternity services at Eastbourne.

Health experts behind the decision said that “clear and compelling evidence” showed that there would be no greater risk for local people despite greater travelling distances.

The decision means that consultant-led maternity services will be provided at the Conquest Hospital in Hastings with two midwife-led birthing units provided at Crowborough and Eastbourne.

Short-stay paediatric assessment units will be provided at both Eastbourne and Hastings while Conquest hospital will also offer in-patient overnight paediatrics, a special care baby unit and emergency gynaecology.