Launch of consultation into future of maternity

HEALTH bosses have launched a formal public consultation this week into the future of maternity and children’s services in Hastings and Eastbourne.

The Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), which hold the purse strings for health care in the county, have published six possible options and are calling for people to give their views.

However if the options get the go-ahead there would be a consultant-led maternity unit based at the Conquest or Eastbourne DGH, but not both.

Last May consultant-led maternity was centralised at the hospital on The Ridge while the DGH’s unit was turned into one led by midwives after the hospital trust made the decision two months earlier. Campaigners from both Hands off the Conquest and Save the DGH fiercely opposed the move and strongly believe both hospitals should keep full consultant-led maternity units.

Dr Roger Elias, chairman of Hastings and Rother CCG, said: “We want as many people as possible to find out more about the options we are proposing and have their say during this consultation.

“Too many women and children using these services were being placed at risk of harm and as local GPs we cannot allow that to continue. The safety and quality of local services will always be our top priority. These six options are the only ones we believe can ensure the high standards we expect as local GPs in the long-term. We have no preferred option at this stage.”

The consultation will include a series of public events in the area. It ends on April 8. Visit, email, or call 01273 402563.