CAMPAIGNERS are looking to take a controversial decision over hospital maternity and children’s services in East Sussex to judicial review.

Protesters were left furious when a temporary shake-up introduced more than a year ago was made permanent last month.

Eastbourne District General Hospital now has a midwife-run maternity service.

Consultant-run maternity services, plus children’s inpatient facilities, are at Conquest Hospital in St Leonards.

Consultant units had previously been based at both hospitals but Eastbourne was temporarily downgraded in 2013 because of safety fears caused by problems in recruiting staff.

The decision to make the change permanent was formally approved by East Sussex’s three clinical commissioning groups earlier this year and subsequently supported by the county council’s overview and scrutiny committee.

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs both hospitals, said it was to ensure the future and safety of the services.

In a message to constituents, Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd, a supporter of Save the DGH, said: “Currently we are exploring a judicial review and I will also be taking this and any other issues to the secretary of state, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and other relevant NHS bodies.

“It is absolutely vital that we do not give up our fight.”

The CQC announced this week it was planning a routine inspection of the trust next month.

People are invited to give their opinion on the trust’s services at listening events being held on September 4.

They are at the White Rock Theatre, Hastings, from 11am to 12.30pm and at Devonshire Park tennis centre, Eastbourne, from 6pm to 7.30pm.

The formal inspection starts on September 8 and a report will be published later this year.

For more details or to add your comments online, visit or call 03000 616161.