THE option of a total rebuild of the DGH ‘remains on the table.’

That was part of a discussion when the East Sussex Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) heard from NHS leaders about plans to create an elective surgery hub at Eastbourne District General Hospital.

NHS representatives said the option of a total rebuild of the DGH ‘remained on the table’, but said other options including a full refurbishment and creation of new buildings were also being considered.

Bexhill and Conquest Hospital are also expected to see some new buildings and refurbishment work, respectively, as part of this project.

The hub, expected to open in November 2024, would offer elective day surgeries in a range of areas, such as: urology; breast surgery; vascular; maxillofacial; ear, nose and throat; gynaecology; orthopaedic; and community dental.

Following discussion, the committee unanimously agreed the creation of the new facility would not constitute a ‘substantial variation’ to the county’s health services, meaning it would not form a review board to scrutinise the plans in detail and make recommendations on how the proposals could be improved.

While the proposals were generally welcomed by the committee, there were some questions raised about how the new building would fit in with plans to create a ‘new hospital’ in Eastbourne.

Eastbourne councillor Alan Shuttleworth (Lib Dem) said: “The benefits are very clear in terms of cutting delay time, additional surgery capacity, reducing waiting lists and less cancellations, reductions in infection.

“All of that is very positive as far as I can see and I am sure will be welcomed by those people who are waiting for day surgery as there are many waiting at this time.”