Reader's letter: Consolidating county hospital catheterisation services to Hastings or Eastbourne will cost lives.

Letter from: Dr Andrew Young, Silverhill Avenue, St Leonards on Sea

I read in the Hastings Observer that the East Sussex Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee have endorsed proposals to consolidate the county’s catheterisation services to a single location, to Eastbourne DGH or the Conquest Hospital.

With only two members of the 14 person committee from Hastings and the experience of eg ENT, Opthalmology and Stroke care moving to Eastbourne, it’s easy to see which way this is going. Sadly Hastings is more deprived and heart and circulatory illnesses kill more than 1 in 4 people in Eastbourne, but 1 in 3 in Hastings.

I cannot see how the loss of emergency heart care, the teams and specialist doctors, nurses and equipment to Eastbourne, adding at least an hour to the care access, can improve the health outcome of the people of Hastings and it’s surrounds.

Aerial photos 2005: St Leonards. Conquest Hospital

If you have a heart attack the goal is to provide a a catheter intervention within 90 minutes of hospital entry to open up the artery. Add an hour to that time and you get a lot of deaths and suffering from delayed care. I write as a GP of 35 years and a patient and know time wasted costs lives.

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