Report to:

East Sussex Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC)


Date of meeting:


14 December 2023


Assistant Chief Executive



Paediatric Service Model Development at Eastbourne District General Hospital



To provide the Committee with an overview of minor planned changes to how paediatric care is delivered at the Eastbourne DGH


The Committee is recommended to:

1)    consider and comment on the report; and


2)    identify if there are any areas it wishes to scrutinise further and add to the future work programme.


1.            Background

1.1.        Paediatric service provision at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust is split across the two acute hospitals. All in-patient care, emergency and higher acuity need is met at Conquest Hospital, along with outpatient services, planned investigations and inpatient surgical needs. Eastbourne District General Hospital (DGH) does not have an in-patient ward but does provide urgent care, outpatients, planned investigations and day surgical services. Both sites were rated ‘Good’ by the CQC in 2020, although staffing challenges were noted.

1.2.        On both sites a Short Stay Paediatric Assessment Unit (SSPAU) was set up some years ago, to support urgent activity. It is usual for hospitals without in-patient wards, like Eastbourne DGH, to co-locate paediatric assessment units with Emergency Departments (EDs), to improve access, speed of service and closer interaction between teams. However, this has not historically been possible at Eastbourne DGH, with the SSPAU some distance away from the ED. The unit at Eastbourne has also had staffing challenges and as a result has been closed on weekends since July 2022.

1.3.        A review of the current service arrangements at Eastbourne DGH was undertaken following the consideration of best practice as part of the new hospital clinical pathways programme of work, where the aim is to develop an emergency floor co-located with service to reduce unnecessary patient moves, bringing the clinicians to the patient, improve patient experience and reduce time spent in hospital settings where this is not required.


2.            Supporting information

2.1.        The report, which is attached as Appendix 1 provides an overview of the service development plans at Eastbourne DGH, and how these relate to urgent care, day surgery and planned care.


3.         Conclusion and reasons for recommendations

3.1.      The HOSC is recommended to note the report and identify if there are any areas it wishes to scrutinise further.


Assistant Chief Executive


Contact Officer: Patrick Major, Scrutiny and Policy Support Officer