So it has now been confirmed that Eastbourne DGH (and the rest of the local Trust) has been placed into special measures. I have been calling for this for many months, and long before I was Eastbourne and Willingdon MP.
I am determined that this will now be a new start for the Trust. The quality of the care has been widely recognised – it is officially ‘Good’ – but in my experience it is in many areas superb! This is one of the main reasons I am hugely positive for the future, and am determined that all conversations about the Hospital should be seen in a positive light.
Whilst people will be rightly concerned about this news, and yes it remains disappointing that some of the services we valued so highly have gone – I have no doubt that the CQC’s robust action, will lead to significant improvements very quickly.
Whilst the campaign continues for the return of core services such as consultant led maternity, this moment marks a watershed. There is for the first time, an acknowledgement of what I, Hospital Champion Liz Walke and the rest of the Save the DGH campaign team have been saying for years.
We now need to move forward. As a group we should get alongside those that will oversee the Trust for the next few months during this period of Special Measures, and work productively and positively with them.
Yes we can be a critical friend where necessary, but the way forward now is so much more positive than it has been in years.
Everyone now has a massive challenge ahead to rebuild public confidence in the trust and its services but I have every faith this can happen in the months to come.
To show my support, I will be visiting the Hospital regularly during the period of Special Measures to meet staff and patients and discuss the situation with them.
May I close by thanking Liz Walke, previous MPs, Doctors, Consultants, politicians from all parties, business leaders and local mums (and dads!) who have supported the Save the DGH campaign, many for almost 10 years. This is clearly not a time to celebrate – but it does mark a significant chapter in the story of our local Hospital, and I am determined, an ultimately positive one.