EASTBOURNE MP Caroline Ansell is demanding answers from DGH bosses over planned cuts to paediatric care at the DGH.

It would mean no specialist consultant on site at the DGH daytime.

Our MP says: “Questions over the proposed changes to paediatric care these last ten days have dominated my work this side of Christmas holidays.

Of critical importance is the workforce at the centre of this service and the space dedicated to the care of some of the youngest; and some of the most vulnerable in our town. 

The Trust has responded in part to the pause recommended by the scrutiny committee but as I write, some of my own questions abide and I will be going back to the Trust for confirmation.

As mum to a child with complex and special needs myself and having been a frequent flyer at the Scott Unit for many years, I so feel for other parents. There will be huge sensitivity to any change to paediatric services in our town.

And it was our hospital that brought me in to politics 15 years ago now.

Nick & I had had a shattering diagnosis for our then 5-year-old son. He came through life-threatening surgery, and I just wanted and needed to give back. I was a teacher at the time. I joined the Save the DGH team and that campaign led me, ultimately, to Parliament.

I am unhappy that our midwife-led unit has had to close temporarily. My sons were born at the DGH – two at this time of year – and I want that choice for expectant mums in Eastbourne. Staffing is again central, and I have asked for the recruitment picture. Home births are still being supported.

Some elements within the proposed changes in paediatrics have been widely agreed as important developments in principle but I will continue to ask challenging questions, it’s my job. The NHS has always been a top campaign priority for me too. It’s why I fought so hard for our place in the new hospital programme.”