Eastbourne hospital plans: 'Our town needs and deserves a new hospital'

Liberal Democrat Eastbourne Borough Councillors have called for the government to honour its commitment of a brand new hospital for Eastbourne.

In October 2020, the government announced that Eastbourne was to be the site of one of the 40 new hospitals pledged in its last manifesto. This was celebrated by Eastbourne and Willingdon’s Conservative MP, Caroline Ansell.

At the time Mrs Ansell said, “This is absolutely the best news for our town and it will transform NHS services for our community for generations to come.”

The DGH is part of the £3.7 billion Health Infrastructure Plan to build and transform 40 hospitals by 2030, announced by Boris Johnson in October 2020.

Eastbourne District General Hospital (Photo by Jon Rigby)

Mrs Ansell said we can now look forward to a ‘state-of-the-art hospital for patients and staff coming online in the next few years’.

The Lib Dem councillors advocated for this by passing a motion at Eastbourne Borough Council’s full council meeting last week (Wednesday, May 18). No Conservative councillor voted in favour of this proposal.

The motion also calls on East Sussex NHS Healthcare Trust to share the plans that have been drawn up so far.

Cllr Josh Babarinde OBE, Lib Dem parliamentary candidate, was the one to propose the motion.

He said, “The government promised Eastbourne a brand new hospital nearly two years ago but there is no sign of it whatsoever. That is not good enough.

“Our town needs and deserves a new hospital. This will put us in the best position to bring back the critical services we have lost to Hastings and elsewhere.

“Me and my Liberal Democrat team will hold the government and local Conservative politicians to account on this new hospital pledge and will not allow them to scapegoat anyone else if they fail to deliver on the promise that they made.”

MP Caroline Ansell said, “I am sorry to see a Liberal Democrat councillor looking to score cheap political points over our hospital and in so doing, end years of cross-party work on the Save the DGH campaign.

“The truth of it is that delivering building projects worth several hundred million pounds will take a number of years. Liberal Democrat councillors aren’t actually involved and are unaware of all the work being done by many good people both in Eastbourne and in Westminster to deliver this once-in-a-generation investment in health services for our town.”

Save The DGH Campaign group has been campaigning to protect local hospital services and restore core services to Eastbourne since 2006.

Group vice chair Sandy Medway said, “A new hospital for Eastbourne is a once in a lifetime opportunity. We long to see a configuration of services that will serve both towns equally, and East Sussex as a whole, over the next 50 years.”

An East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust spokesperson said, “We are working with the Department of Health & Social Care and NHS England & Improvement New Hospital Programme on our Outline Business Case with the scheme due to be delivered in the latter half of this decade.”

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