Protect ENT Services at the Conquest Hospital, Hastings!

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The East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust is proposing to ‘consolidate’ Ear, Nose and Throat services between the Conquest Hospital in Hastings and Eastbourne General Hospital.  This would mean transferring all ENT day cases and planned surgery to Eastbourne, effectively closing the department at the Conquest.

Transferring services to Eastbourne is bad for all patients in Hastings, and even worse for Rye.  It’s especially difficult for parents with children undergoing ENT treatment, in a deprived area such as Hastings where many families don’t have a car.

The East Sussex NHS Trust has argued that it's easier to find specialist medical staff further along the coast, for jobs at Eastbourne Hospital.  If that's the case, this could apply to other services.  We've already seen stroke care services transferred to Eastbourne, resulting in delays to urgent treatment that could help stroke victims survive.  So this could be the first of future service closures at the Conquest Hospital, reducing its status and depriving the people of Hastings and Rye of essential healthcare.

While creating regional 'centres of excellence' for different clinical services is a positive development, this must not happen at the expense of those services at other hospitals. This is yet another attack on our local health service .  We must stop this!