Health changes too easily seen as ‘cuts’

WE want people in East Sussex to have the best care possible and that means having a local health service that meets quality standards and ensures better outcomes for patients.

We believe there is real scope for improving the care provided in three specialist hospital services.

As doctors working in East Sussex we are committed to improving the healthcare available for our communities.

Like you, we want Eastbourne DGH and Conquest Hospital to remain thriving major sites.

These proposals are not a threat to that ambition; they are a means of achieving it. They are about raising the standard of care in three specialist areas.

Staff at both hospitals work incredibly hard to provide high quality services to patients – and by making changes to where some of those services are provided we know the standard of care can be made even better.

Arriving at hospital to find your operation has been cancelled because there are no beds available can be very distressing and hugely inconvenient for patients and their families.

The changes being discussed are aimed at delivering a more reliable service.

We want every operation to go ahead on time as planned. We want every patient needing emergency diagnosis and treatment to be seen and treated swiftly by skilled and expert doctors.

We want everybody who has had treatment to get the right support afterwards to enable a strong recovery in good time.

We want all stroke patients to receive specialist high quality care, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We want these patients to have a dedicated team around them from the moment they come in to hospital, right through to their rehabilitation.

These goals are not currently achievable and we want to change that. Yes, you might on occasions need to travel further for some specialist services but these changes will guarantee the right specialist teams are in place, at the right time, with dedicated facilities for recovery before going home.

We have been involved in shaping these plans for change in East Sussex and have worked with hospital colleagues, other GPs and patient representatives as well as looking at best practice elsewhere and the recommendations of national experts.

We are supporting these proposals because we want people in East Sussex to have excellent, safe and sustainable services for years to come.

These plans, we believe, will deliver better results for patients, better access to expert clinicians and better recovery rates.

Making changes is too easily portrayed as ‘cuts’. That is not what this is about. This is about improving services. We would urge you to ask questions, take part in the discussion – together we can shape a better future for healthcare in East Sussex.

Signed by the Hastings

and Rother Clinical Commissioning Group