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Stop Eastbourne Ward Closure

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

GMB Call On NHS Trust To Halt Imminent Ward Closure At Eastbourne Hospital 

Notification letters went out on 11th October, meetings with staff held on the 14th & 15th and the ward to be closed on the 18th October - a whole 7 days from start to finish says GMB

GMB, the union for staff in NHS, has been informed that the Polegate ward in Eastbourne Hospital been identified for permanent closure with immediate effect from Friday 18th October 2013. Around 28 staff will have to redeployed or face redundancy.

The reason we have been given is the poor financial position and the need for special measures within the Trust.

Polegate Ward provides all the necessary support services required for discharges from hospital, including facilitating assessment by other medical and support agencies required to provide various support for patients and their families on leaving hospital.

Gary Palmer, GMB organiser said “What on earth does Chief Executive Darren Grayson think he’s playing at?

Notification letters on the 11th October, meetings with staff on the 14th & 15th and the ward closed on the 18th October - a whole 7 days from start to finish.

Clearly the disastrous financial position of the hospital through Mr Grayson and his team’s mismanagement warrants actions, but how bad can it be that he needs to shut a front line medical service and ward without consultation with patients and their families, staff, GP’s and other services providers in just one week?

We have already written to the Trust informing them that this is an unacceptable way to treat staff and patients and we have called for an immediate meeting with them to resolve the matter. But in the meantime we expect the closure of Polegate ward to be halted and any wishes to make changes or closures is discussed within their own management change, redeployment and redundancy policies.

It also should be noted that this shock financial announcement and ward closure comes off the back of the recent GMB announcement that the Trust had admitted having to prioritise staff pay above all other invoices currently because of a severe cash flow shortages.

GMB will meet our members as soon as possible to see how they wish to react to this disappointing treatment by the Trust. It will depend on what they consider at this time. So we will rule nothing out as a response should the Trust refuse to step back from this ridiculous situation.”

End

Contact: Gary Palmer, GMB Organiser on 07552165950 or Charles Harrity, GMB Senior Organiser on 07977518042 or Rob Macey, GMB Senior Organiser 07710 618 908 or GMB Press Office on 07921 289880

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