From the Rye and Battle Observer. 17th September 2010

EASTBOURNE Borough Council has called on the PCT to rethink its proposal to close inpatient beds at the DGH’s psychiatric ward.

The NHS East Sussex Downs and Weald and the NHS Hastings and Rother plans to cut the 122 in-patient beds at Eastbourne DGH and the Conquest in Hastings by 30.

The proposal was met with concerns by Eastbourne councillors who raised their concerns at a council meeting in Eastbourne Town Hall on Wednesday night (September 15).

Councillor Greg Szanto said care for psychiatric patients was already ‘inadequate’ and ‘inhumane’.

Cllr Szanto said, “The reality is the people who need inpatient care desperately need it. Sadly most are in prison and thousands and thousands are on the streets or living in accommodation which is completely inadequate.

“Suggesting we do not need these inpatient beds in nonsense.

“The strength of a community can be measured by the care it provides for its most vulnerable members. The most vulnerable group in our community, as it is in any community, is those suffering from acute mental illness……

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