9 January 2024

Improvements to urgent care for children at Eastbourne DGH

In recent weeks there has been media coverage and social media commentary around our improvements to paediatric services at Eastbourne District General Hospital.

We want to set out the facts for parents/carers so they know we are here to help their child if they fall ill.

Eastbourne DGH provides urgent care for children in the emergency department (ED) and urgent treatment centre. Previously, a small number of children were supported by the Short Stay Paediatric Assessment Unit on the Eastbourne DGH site, which is some distance away from the emergency department.

To put this in context, during 2022/23, nearly thirteen and a half thousand children presented to our ED and, of these, just 341 were transferred to the assessment unit for further review.

We undertook a review of the options to improve urgent care for children at Eastbourne DGH. The review concluded that we could improve the service so the small number of children that were moved to the assessment unit could remain in the ED under the care of specialist paediatric nurses (called Advanced Paediatric Nurse Practitioners) to provide better care for children and avoid them having to move round the hospital.

The improvements within the emergency department and urgent treatment centre, with increased paediatric expertise, will ensure children are seen sooner, with earlier paediatric intervention and will reduce waiting times.

It is important to note that patients that currently receive their care at Eastbourne DGH will continue to receive their care there, we are not transferring any services to Conquest Hospital. 

Advice for parents/carers

If the child you care for becomes unwell, please contact NHS 111 online or by phone for advice and they can direct you to the most appropriate place for the care your child needs.

If your child needs immediate clinical treatment, you can bring them directly to our Emergency Departments and Urgent Treatment Centres at Eastbourne District General Hospital and Conquest Hospital.  These facilities are available 24 hours a day to provide the treatment and care that your child needs.

If your child is seriously unwell, please call 999 for an ambulance.