What is the point of transferring some services from one under-funded less than excellent hospital, the DGH in Eastbourne, to a not much different hospital, the Conquest in Hastings? For Seaford patients to have orthopaedics, difficult surgery and serious emergencies based often an hour away at the Conquest is clearly a nonsense. Are ambulance crew going to waste time and fuel driving the 25 miles to Hastings when the Royal Sussex in Brighton is only 13 miles away? Are relatives seriously going to be expected to travel to Hastings, using either bus or rail, both of which require changes and a great deal of time, a journey that could well prove too much for the elderly? The DGH may not be perfect, but it is our hospital.
I appreciate that very seriously ill people may well be better off in a hospital with a particular specialism but until I see proof that the DGH and the Conquest will have their services properly upgraded I remain cynical. If patients must be treated in specialist hospitals, then at least let a day hospital be established that offers A&E and elective surgery, and a few short-stay beds for those who are not quite well enough to return home the same day. The bean counters must be kept in touch with our expectations of our health service to provide the best care for all. This is a community with a high proportion of elderly people who have a right to the best care, as near to their homes and families as possible.