Eastbourne hospital travel: MP prepares to meet with health minister

The MP for Eastbourne is planning to meet with the health minister as part of our ongoing campaign to improve hospital links across East Sussex.

Back in October the Herald joined forces with MP Caroline Ansell to find out if there is a need for a hospital shuttle bus.

A month later results were shared and revealed 91.75 per cent of respondents ‘strongly agreed’ that an affordable shuttle bus system should be put in place.

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Eastbourne hospital travel campaign

Since then Mrs Ansell has met with various authorities to discuss the findings and is now preparing to meet with health minister Edward Argar.

On Tuesday (January 18) in the House of Commons health and social care questions she asked Mr Argar about meeting.

Mrs Ansell said, “My hospital trust is looking to redesign ophthalmology and cardiology services across its two hospitals, Eastbourne District General Hospital and Conquest Hospital in Hastings.

“The trust puts forward an important clinical case for the change, but given the realities — the road, the distance and the public transport options, which mean that it can be a journey of two hours via two buses for the one in four households in Eastbourne that do not have a car — any change can present a real problem and create issues for local people.”

Mr Argar said he would be ‘delighted’ to meet.

Speaking after the question session Mrs Ansell said, “I am really pleased the minister will give dedicated time to sit down and discuss with me these important issues around hospital services and how people in Eastbourne access them.

“The question of travelling out of town for some medical care has been an issue of concern and a running argument for many years in Eastbourne going back to maternity reconfiguration in 2014, and is again in the frame with these new proposals from the trust.

“I am grateful to Healthwatch, our Clinical Commissioners, Stagecoach and others for their time engaging with me on my recent transport survey work which I will next take up with the team at the DGH.

“On ophthalmology and cardiology services, I do urge residents to contribute to the public consultations running now.

“Those who manage the hospitals need to know our opinions and how people feel about changes to services and travelling between sites.”