As a Campaign it has been 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, 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. We have sought legal/barristers advice and have been told that our best course of action is a legal letter together with MP supporting letter and a petition of at least 10,000 signatures should get some response.
The Save the DGH Campaign committee met last Saturday and decided that we will have the unit in the Arndale Centre and Langney Shopping Centre again to collect signatures for this latest petition calling on the Secretary of State for Health to have an independent enquiry into Maternity services as we believe the decision in 2008 should still stand unless this is done. We are going to be doing this from this Saturday 15th Nov to Saturday 22nd November as follows:-
Arndale Centre 15th – 22nd Nov (Sat – Sat) 10am – 4pm Old furniture shop Hulatts (same place as before)
Langney Shopping Centre (LSC) 17th – 22nd Nov (Mon – Sat) 10am – 3pm LSC concourse opposite Card Factory
The reason for these dates is that there is a CQC enquiry which is likely to complete its report at the end of November and we want it to get to the Secretary of State for Health before then.
So we are asking for volunteers to help us collect signatures in one of the shops and also if you know anyone else who can help (please let us know). We also want the petition sheets to be taken by people who will ask their family, friends, colleagues and neighbours etc to sign and return.
I know this may appear to be a waste of time but we believe this is possibly the last opportunity we will have to get someone independent looking into our local situation. I have attached the leaflet we will be handing out to explain why we need signatures. I have also attached petition sheets for you to print off and collect signatures if you are able to. Please pass on this email now as well as we are really short of volunteers and need as many signatures as possible in a very short time.
We are also hoping to go into Seaford and Hailsham as they use the DGH too so if you have any contacts there we can ask to help organise this, please let us know.