Hospital changes come under microscope in Rye

RYE area residents were able to find more about proposed changes to the Conquest Hospital when East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust held a public meeting at Tilling Green Community Centre on Tuesday

People were able to talk to clinicians about proposals as part of a 14 week public consultation.

The Trust came under fire from some quarters for holding the meeting during the day when many who work would be unable to attend.

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There is strong opposition to the plans which propose to single site three specialities which are Stroke, Emergency Orthopaedic Surgery and Emergency General Surgery.

It could mean that Rye area residents have to travel as far as the DGH Hospital in Eastbourne for emergency treatment.

But the Trust argues the proposals will “significantly improve the quality of care for patients”

A Trust spokesperson said: “We are pleased so many people took the time to find out more about our proposals for improving these three areas of care. We spoke with around 80 local people and their views and questions will help us make our decisions. This is about giving people the opportunity to ask questions and take part in the discussion. Together we can shape a better future for healthcare in East Sussex.”

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Dr Andy Slater, Medical Director at the Trust said: “We want every operation to go ahead on time as planned. We want every patient needing unplanned diagnosis and treatment to be seen and treated swiftly by skilled and expert doctors. We want everybody who has had treatment to get the right support afterwards to enable a strong recovery in good time. These goals are not currently achievable and we want to change that.”

Dr Roger Elias, GP, said: “Local doctors have been involved in shaping these plans for change in East Sussex and have worked with our hospital colleagues, other GPs and patient representatives as well as looking at best practice elsewhere and the recommendations of national experts.”

The detailed proposals are contained in the public consultation document ‘Shaping our Future’ which has been widely distributed across the region and available to anyone who requests a copy. The proposals can also be downloaded from the website where there is also be the opportunity to respond with comments on the proposals. On the website there is also a summary document available.