Service is centralised at Conquest Hospital

ANOTHER service for patients has been moved to the Conquest Hospital.

Emergency and high risk orthopaedics, which deals with things like fractured hips and legs, was centralised at the hospital on The Ridge on Tuesday (May 13).

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs both the Conquest and the DGH, said the majority of planned operations and procedures, day case surgery, outpatient clinics, diagnostic tests and admissions for all other medical conditions will continue to be provided at both Eastbourne DGH and the Conquest as before.

Last December emergency and high risk surgery was moved to the Conquest and stroke services were centralised at Eastbourne’s DGH, almost 20 miles away, in summer last year.

The decision to centralise emergency and high risk orthopaedics was made following a public consultation into the future of the three services, which was held during 2012.

Campaigners from both Hands off the Conquest and Save the DGH voiced opposition to the plans at the time, saying both hospitals needed to keep all of their core services.

Up to 2,000 people signed petitions in protest against the proposals when they were announced.

Dr Andy Slater, the trust’s medical director (strategy), said: “As doctors working in East Sussex we are committed to improving the healthcare available for our communities.

“We firmly believe the changes to emergency and high risk orthopaedics will improve the quality of care we are able to provide to patients now and in the future in East Sussex.

“By having all emergency and high risk orthopaedics based on one site, we now have more surgeons available to carry out planned procedures and an on-call surgeon to deal with any patients needing emergency care.

“This means we will be able to reduce the number of planned operations that we have to cancel and treat people more quickly, which in turn will improve their recovery.”