Seaford residents urged to join health service protest in Eastbourne

CAMPAIGNERS are calling on Seaford residents to protest against a potential reduction in some services at Eastbourne District General Hospital.

The march will take place on Saturday September 15 at 10am at the Reboubt in Eastbourne.

But the NHS in East Sussex argued its proposals would improve services for the vast majority of patients.

Seaford councillor Sam Adeniji said: “It is very important that we the people of Seaford turn out in force and show the local NHS that the people of Seaford are against any plans that may lead to a downgrade of Eastbourne DGH.”

But speaking on behalf of the NHS in East Sussex, Dr Martin Writer, Eastbourne GP and Dr Mark Barnes, Seaford GP said: “These proposals will improve these services for the vast majority of our patients, and help us to offer the very best care to the people of East Sussex.

“We are committed to maintaining two thriving major hospital sites in Eastbourne and Hastings. These plans are not a threat to that ambition-in fact they are the means to achieve it.

“These changes will mean that an emergency surgical team will be available to assess patients and if necessary operate, 24 hours a day, and that patients who suffer a stroke will have the therapy care they need seven days a week.

“Patients who live in Seaford will be taken to the nearest hospital which has the specialist service for their condition.

“For example, if one of these specialist services is provided from Hastings, then residents from Seaford would normally be taken to Brighton for their care.”

But Seaford MP Norman Baker said there was a possibility some of these services could be based at Hastings, instead of Eastbourne,

He said: “I appreciate that the trust is under some financial and clinical pressures, but we simply cannot have a two tier health system where those who live in Hastings and Brighton get a good service and those who rely on Eastbourne getting the short end of the stick.”

The consultation proposes to reduce emergency, orthopaedic and cancer surgery to just one site, centralise stroke care and reduce emergency care by only maintaining a trauma unit at one site.