GMB March And Rally On November 29th Over Threats To Future Of 24/7 A&E Service At Eastbourne Hospital If More Beds Go
If bed numbers fall below 400 that is the point that the Trust could be allowed to downgrade A&E from the current 24/7 provision to minor injury or cottage hospital status says GMB
GMB, the union for staff in the NHS, is organizing a march and rally in Eastbourne on Saturday 29th November over concerns about potential threats the future of services at Eastbourne District General Hospital (EDGH).
There is grave concerns that as a result of ward closures, ward amalgamations, and other changes the number of beds has gone down from around 500 to a point where a cut of a further 20 beds could lead to the number being reduced to below 400 beds. Below 400 beds is the point where the danger arises of the hospital no longer being required to run an A&E service 24/7.
Details of the march and rally are still being finalised. The march will assemble at 10.30am from Eastbourne Pier and march through the town centre back to the sea front. (details on speakers to follow). The demand will be that the Trust guarantees no more cuts to services of any form at the EDGH.
Gary Palmer, GMB Organiser, said “Union members and staff are worried about the Trusts on-going program to remove beds from the EDGH. There is concern that if the Trust removes a further 20 or more beds the numbers will fall to below 400. That is the point that the Trust could be allowed to look to downgrade A&E from the current 24/7 provision, to minor injury or cottage hospital status.
Downgrading this hospital’s A&E services would be an absolute disaster for the people of Eastbourne and East Sussex. It could possibly be the real beginning of the end for EDGH.
Only the Trust and it’s Chief Executive know for sure if the concerns of staff are founded in truth and whether any further cuts in beds could potentially lead to the trust being able to change the hospital’s status in Eastbourne.
EDGH has already seen its hospital services being downgraded and closed. People of Eastbourne and East Sussex won’t be fooled by claims of the Trust have the best interest of the future of the EDGH and in protecting services, jobs and patients, if this means further beds are lost by the Trust putting 24/7 A&E services at risk.
Public opinion is still questioning the terrible decision to downgrade consultant-led maternity and paediatrics at the EDGH. This means that any program of cuts which allows the Trust to eventually potentially repeat the same process with A&E services at Eastbourne hospital will meet stiff resistance.
The consequences of a downgrade in A&E would mean that patients would need to be transported to either the Conquest hospital or to Brighton’s Royal Sussex.
This means that the EDGH needs support and protecting by all in the community. We want people to join us on the march and rally to demand that the Trust guarantee no more cuts to services of any form at the EDGH. We urge all concerned residents, the public, hospital staff and fellow unions to join us in sounding Eastbourne’s loudest “Hands off our Hospital” to the NHS Trust”.
Contact Gary Palmer GMB Organiser 07552165950, Mark Turner GMB Branch Secretary 07860 787973 or Charles Harrity, GMB Senior Organiser on 07977 518042 or GMB press office 07921 289880