Eastbourne Maternity Services To Close

The Trust than runs the Eastbourne DGH is shutting down the specialist maternity unit at the hospital because it is not considered safe.

The East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust plans to temporarily close consultant-led maternity and paediatric services because it has not been able to recruit enough suitably trained doctors.

Following the advice of doctors, midwifes and external bodies, the Trust will be downgrading services at the end of April.

Darren Grayson, Chief Executive of the East Sussex NHS Trust, said: “We have a duty to make sure our obstetric and neonatal services are as safe as possible and meet national guidelines.

"Our doctors, midwives and nurses, together with the National Clinical Advisory Team have advised us that the current maternity and paediatric services in East Sussex cannot continue as they are at present."

The staffing shortages mean the hospital will become a midwife-led unit, similar to the services offered at Crowborough.

Lindsey Stevens, Head of Midwifery at the Trust, said: “As a midwife I would like to assure all the women in Eastbourne that we are passionate about providing the best care we can.

"These changes are not being made by managers and they are not driven by finances, they have been suggested by us and our medical colleagues because we know that we can offer a better and sustainable service by working on one site".

The consultant-led specialist unit will transfer to the Conquest in Hastings.