Eastbourne and Willingdon MP Caroline Ansell called-in the proposals to change aspects of paediatric care at the DGH to the Health Secretary today.
There have been community concerns over the plans to move the DGH towards an Advanced Paediatric Nurse Practitioner led unit rather than a consultant led unit. The hospital trust asserts this is essentially an internal reorganisation and does not represent an activity shift to the Conquest in Hastings.
But as promised, the MP wrote to Victoria Atkins following her meeting with the local Independent Care Board (ICB) yesterday where it said an independent review of the trust’s proposals would also be commissioned.
The MP’s letter to the secretary of state has been countersigned by Liz Walke, Eastbourne Borough Council’s hospital champion and founder of the Save the DGH Campaign.
“I would like to thank everyone who has got in touch with me with their views and experiences. It meant that when I met the health secretary in person today, I was able to share a very detailed picture of concerns with her. Not just concerns but also the pressing need for local people, through the call in, to be given every assurance that these proposals are sound or concerns substantiated and a challenge made to the plans,” said Caroline.
“As our town’s MP, I will reach for every lever available to me. The secretary of state has new powers from today to investigate changes like these and as the MP, I can ask her to do so.
“I also welcome the ICB’s decision to commission an independent review. It will add a further layer of scrutiny upon these proposals. Public confidence is king and concerns must be heard.
“But when I have parents telling me that they thought paediatric care at the DGH has been shut down, I fear there has been some scaremongering around what these plans mean. I have been inundated with messages from concerned people who now believe they have to take their children to Hastings or that the hospital is going to close.
“None of this is remotely true. We are going to be getting a new hospital on the DGH site and already building work on an elective surgical hub, that will be part of that new hospital, is taking place. The future of hospital services in Eastbourne are secure."
The MP added: “Paediatric services remain at the DGH too. The most important message right now is this: if your child is ill, you should go to the DGH.”