Public meeting to discuss latest maternity plans

Conquest Hospital, Hastings
Conquest Hospital, Hastings

The controversial options put forward to deliver maternity and paediatric services in the long term at the Conquest Hospital and DGH will be discussed at a meeting today (Friday January 10).

The six configurations have been slammed by campaigners because they do not include consultant-led maternity at both the Hastings and Eastbourne hospital.

The options, published by the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in December, do not include the provision of in-patient paediatrics at both sites.

At today’s public meeting, the East Sussex Health and Overview Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) will speak about the proposals and whether they constitute a substantial change to local health services and should be subject to a formal public consultation.

The CCG say the options are aimed at achieving safer and better NHS maternity and paediatric services. The options also look at the future of maternity services in Crowborough.

In March last year East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust said it had been advised by doctors, midwives and nurses, together with the National Clinical Advisory Trust that maternity and paediatric services at that time in East Sussex could do not continue as they were.

NHS bosses went on to back temporary changes to maternity and paediatrics which meant that from the May the DGH became a midwifery-led maternity unit and children could no longer stay overnight in the Friston Ward.

The role of how the services would be provided in the long term falls to the three East Sussex CCGs.

HOSC, which is made up of East Sussex County Councillors and also includes district and borough councillors in East Sussex and voluntary sector representatives, has been recommended to agree that the proposals do constitute ‘substantial variation’ to health service provision and to undertake a detailed review of the proposals from February to June this year.

Friday’s meeting takes place at 10am at County Hall in Lewes and will also be available to view on the webcast via

At the meeting HOSC will also discuss a report on the decisions made by the East Sussex Clinical Commissioning Groups in relation to the future provision of NHS beds for the admission and assessment of people with dementia in East Sussex.