Lewes Victoria Hospital has a ‘secure’ future when High Weald Lewes Havens Clinical Commissioning Group’s new contract for the community facility comes into force.
That was the message from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health when Lewes MP Norman Baker MP led a debate on the issue of health care provision in his constituency in the House of Commons.
He said Victoria Hospital ‘is much loved, very well respected and hugely supported by the friends of the hospital’.
“I had a minor op there myself recently and I was extraordinarily impressed by the level of care and compassion shown by all the staff,” he said.
“Unfortunately, the hospital is also technically run by the East Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust, which has no particular interest in the place,” he said.
“It is outside its catchment area. It was left standing when the music stopped and it should not be in the trust’s purview. I want Victoria hospital to be transferred to somewhere that has more interest in it than the trust.
“My view is there should be a community trust across Sussex. Failing that, the hospital should be handled by Brighton, which is more local to it.
“The hospital is losing facilities, such as the pacemaker clinic, which is shocking.
“At a time when we want to get more, not fewer, facilities in towns, they are disappearing. That simply clogs up A and E and other hospitals.”
Dr Daniel Poulter, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, said he knew the hospital well, ‘having performed some day operations there in the past’.
“In October 2014, High Weald Lewes Havens CCG initiated a formal procurement process to enhance and improve the community services contract,” he said.
“As part of the general review of services, community services will clearly play a key part in delivering services closer to home.
“A new contract for the hospital is expected to be awarded in spring 2015. That will be followed by a period of transition planning, with a view to having the new community services contract in place by the autumn.
“The CCG has confirmed it plans to continue providing community health services from Lewes Victoria hospital and it is keen to ensure the skills and expertise of the existing community services staff and the three community hospitals in the area are at the heart of plans to improve patient care and experience.
“The future of Lewes Victoria hospital is very secure.”