An Eastbourne councillor has been defending the Save the DGH campaign at a national NHS conference.
Robert Smart was invited to be a speaker at Confed17 in Liverpool yesterday (14 June), where he joined a debate as to whether campaign groups such as Save the DGH are always justified and what NHS leaders need to do to engage communities to support transformation plans.
Councillor Smart also raised three strands within the current NHS establishment that he believes needs to be changed, including centralisation, which has seen consultant-led maternity services stripped from Eastbourne DGH. He suggested that the service should not be compromised by the financial pressures caused by an aging population and highlighted the need for it at both Eastbourne DGH and the Conquest in Hastings.
The Conservative also spoke of his horror at the CCG’s plans to cut spending on acute services by 40% in the current financial year and suggested that pooling resources with separately-funded social care services would reduce accountability and is not necessary for improved co-ordination.
Finally, Councillor Smart told the 1700 delegates, that a production-led NHS is not satisfying the demands of the population, that the NHS needs to get a grip on 2017/18 and take a longer time to produce a proper strategic plan.
Photo courtesy: Cllr Robert Smart
You can watch Councillor Smart's speech below: