Hailsham town councillors have passed a vote of no confidence in East Sussex Healthcare Trust’s senior management team and will be calling on the Chairman of the Trust to resign.
It follows a heated Extraordinary Meeting of the Full Council held at the Town Council offices on Wednesday evening (12 August) in response to a Care Quality Commission (CQC) report which rated the trust, which runs the Eastbourne DGH and Conquest Hospital in Hastings, “inadequate”, following an inspection on 27 March.
Over the last two years, the NHS has opted to centralise hospital services and a number of essential services including consultant-led maternity, emergency surgery, orthopaedics, paediatrics and trauma have been downgraded or transferred to Hastings.
In their Quality Report, the CQC said it had particular concerns over outpatient records and surgical practices at the Eastbourne District General Hospital and inspectors reported that safety and leadership was also inadequate.
Trust chief executive Darren Grayson announced his resignation in July, following a vote of ‘no confidence’ by councillors on East Sussex County Council’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee in May.
Hailsham Town Council has agreed to send a letter to the Secretary of State for Health asking them to enforce its decision for the trust chairman, Stuart Welling, to step down.
Town Mayor Councillor Nigel Coltman said: “My fellow members and I have no confidence in Stuart Welling and other members of the Trust Board and senior management team, in their ability or intention to provide adequate healthcare for the people of Hailsham.”
“I appreciate that many people will have experienced a satisfactory standard of care at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, but there are many others who have experienced quite the opposite.”
“This council wishes to see services restored for residents, including returning much-needed maternity services to Eastbourne and improving accident and emergency services there considerably.”
Councillor Coltman added: “Hailsham councillors expressed concerns that in the rush to re-balance services between Eastbourne and Hastings, both hospitals have seen a decline in quality, particularly in accident and maternity services”.
Terry Hall, Communications & Public Information Officer
Hailsham Town Council, Market Street, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 2AE
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