29th September 2015

The Chairman of ESHT Stuart Welling has finally resigned.  It will be a huge mountain to climb but now we need the right leadership team to take on this enormous task but we hope we are now heading in the right direction.  Thank you all for your support and please continue to let us know what is happening whether you're a patient, staff member or visitor.  We continue to fight to get back all the services so cruelly removed over the past two years so the job is not over yet.....


22nd September 2015

East Sussex Healthcare Trust (ESHT) which runs the DGH has had its second CQC (Care Quality Commission) report published today and again has been rated as INADEQUATE.  Once again we are asking Board members to take responsibility for this appaling rating and admit their failure, apologise and then resign, starting with the Chairman Stuart Welling.  We do NOT want continuity of failure, we want a new Board who truly represent the local people and staff.  We also believe the reconfiguration of services between the two hospitals over the last two years has beeen a completely flawed process and should be re-evaluated giving more consideration to the transport issues and implications for staff as well as patients. We welcome the news that the Chief Inspector of Hospitals is recommending ESHT be placed in special measures.  It is something this Campaign group have been asking for as we see it as a last resort but the only one which will bring change and a turnaround which is what we are all hoping for.


8th September 2015

Some of our Campaign team met with Baroness Cumberlege yesterday (7th September) to inform the NHS National Maternity Review which is currently being undertaken.  You often ask us what can we do to help?  Well you can contribute to this Review.

The online consultation is now live and we would very much like you to take part. To have your say on maternity services please complete the consultation, available at the following link:

They want to hear what you think is good about these services and what could be done to improve them. All comments will contribute to the review’s recommendations, which will be published in December on the NHS England website.

The consultation is open to women who have been pregnant and used the NHS, to their husbands or partners, friends and family members. Please can you share this consultation with your networks. The consultation will be open until 31st October 2015.

We are very much hoping there will be a complete rethink on Maternity services and we will get back doctors to the DGH should an emergency arise.

We are still waiting for publication of the 2nd CQC (Care Quality Commission) report, remembering the 1st one rated East Sussex Healthcare Trust, which runs the DGH, as inadequate – the lowest rating possible!. We still believe the Chairman and those responsible for heading up the Trust should admit their failure, apologise and resign. 

August 2015

Do you want to take part in the National Maternity Review to help improve maternity services?  Baroness Julia Cumberlege OBE is chairing the review and would like women to contribute.  You may have seen her talking about these events on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme recently – you can still view the clip if you haven’t already seen it. 

View the list of events – these are still being updated so please do check back later if you can’t find an event near you. We’re also visiting maternity services in areas where we don’t have drop-in events, and everyone will be able to contribute through an online survey which we will launch in the next couple of weeks.

Sadly, at the moment there is not an event near us but please can you email NHS England and mention your own experience.

MP Caroline Ansell has organised a meeting for Liz Walke (Chair of the Save the DGH Campaign), David Tutt (Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council) and Brian Valentine (retired Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist) to meet with Baroness Cumberlege in September where they will be raising their concerns ahead of the Campaign’s formal submission to the Review. 

We are always pleased to hear of people’s experiences at the DGH, not just Maternity but as well as, so if you have used our local hospitals recently please let us know how you’ve got on


15th July 2015

Darren Grayson, Chief Executive of East Sussex NHS Healthcare Trust (ESHT), which runs Eastbourne DGH (District General Hospital) has finally stepped down.  The Chairman, Stuart Welling, is still in post having had his tenure extended by up to a year.  We are appalled.  There has been no acknowledgement of failure or an apology, in fact the reverse.   Until the Board of ESHT accept the CQC findings, how can they possibly continue in post.  We believe the time has come for a complete change.  If any Board members remain in post, they must acknowledge their failure and apologise and then be absolutely committed to bringing back all core services to EDGH and the Conquest which have been removed in the last two years.


1st April 2015

Sadly, we are not surprised at this report.  (For report, see below CQC Chief Inspector's Press Release link 29th March 2015).  It is a shocking report - one which local senior NHS management should be utterly ashamed of.  They have failed the local population and yet when this Campaign has pointed things out, East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (ESHT) management have made all sorts of allegations against us!  However, what with the staff survey recently published, and now this, surely it is time for a complete change at the top.  To salami slice essential services between two hospitals over 20 miles apart with the awful transport links will no doubt seriously affect patients and staff and yet they are in denial. And even north of the County, ESHT have made it extremely difficult for patients to access hospital services which are closer to them.  We will be very happy to work with a new management team looking at how to provide excellent safe services to patients in their local hospital.  We are hoping to look at new innovative ideas to get back and keep all core services at both Eastbourne DGH and the Conquest (in Hastings), as well as utilising the community hospitals more for those who live nrearer those. We would like to commend the staff who have come out so well in this report.  They are the ones who despite all the pressure have looked after the local population so well. We have had an emergency Campaign meeting and have established a way forward which will address the serious problems which are deep seated with management at the local NHS.  We hope to meet with many NHS bodies in the next few days/weeks (despite an election) and will be keeping you informed.  If you are qualified and able to help us in any way, please contact us.

30th March 2015 - The Campaign Group met today to discuss the CQC Report findings and to agree the action we are now taking. Watch this space...

29th March 2015 - The Care Quality Commission report on East Sussex Healthcare Trust (which runs Eastbourne DGH) was published on Friday 27th March 2015.  The Trust has been rated as INADEQUATE. Let's be clear this is a score that management should be ashamed of BUT staff in this report have been commended as caring.  We applaud the staff who have worked under unbearable stress and inadequate management.  Sadly management has not resigned.  We will be meeting as a Campaign group urgently because the single-siting of services has proved to be a disaster with terrible scores for A&E, surgery, stroke and maternity. 

See the CQC Chief Inspector's Press Release here

December 2014

As a Campaign 2014 was a very difficult year seeing some of our core services removed from Eastbourne DGH, which we believe are essential to those within the hospitals catchment, and despite best efforts been powerless to stop. However, when the decision to permanently remove consultant-led Maternity from Eastbourne DGH was agreed by East Sussex Health Overview Committee (HOSC), we decided to see if there was any way in which a legal challenge could stop this especially as an independent panel had ruled against this downgrading in September 2008. Despite a legal letter together with MP supporting letter and a petition of 24,000 signatures sent to the Secretary of State for Health, still we are told it's a local decision (through HOSC). 


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