The Board of East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust is committed to ensuring that it provides safe high quality health services across East Sussex that are clinically and financially sustainable.
On November 23 2012 NHS Sussex agreed with our recommendation that in the future Stroke services should be sited at Eastbourne District General Hospital site and that emergency and higher risk General Surgery and emergency and higher risk Orthopaedics should be sited at the Conquest Hospital site.
We believe this will strengthen the local health services environment and help to ensure that the quality of care and the outcomes for patients is improved.
East Sussex is not immune to the need to create safe sustainable services for the future within the current financial climate - clearly no change is not an option and we cannot just carry on as we are.
The local people are quite rightly passionate about their hospitals, as are we, and we firmly believe this decision will significantly improve the quality of treatment that patients receive in stroke care, emergency and higher risk planned general surgery and emergency and higher risk planned orthopaedic services.
Like everyone in East Sussex, we want Eastbourne DGH and Conquest Hospital to remain thriving hospitals.
This decision is not a threat to that ambition but a means of achieving it as we will be able to raise the standard of care in three specialist areas.
Occasionally some patients will need to travel further for certain specialist services but these changes will guarantee that the right specialist teams are in place, at the right time 24/7 all year round, with dedicated facilities for recovery before going home.
It is important to remember these changes will affect less than 1 per cent of people who use our hospitals each year. Fewer than 15 patients per day will need to travel further.
The vast majority of patients will not notice any difference as planned operations and procedures, day case surgery, out patient clinics, diagnostic tests and admissions for all medical conditions will continue as before in a patient’s local hospital with A&E remaining on both sites.
DARREN GRAYSON, Chief Executive of East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust.