Eastbourne hospital's coronary care hours 'to be cut'

Eastbourne District General Hospital Eastbourne District General Hospital would operate a daytime coronary care unit under the proposal

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The coronary care department at an East Sussex Hospital could be downgraded under new plans.

The Eastbourne District General Hospital (EDGH) facility treats some emergency heart attack patients.

NHS Sussex said primary angioplasty services were provided 24/7 in Brighton and it would work towards a fixed 24-hour service in Hastings by April 2012.

It said a non-emergency service for planned angioplasty between 08:00 and 17:00 would be offered at the EDGH.

NHS Sussex said residents in Sussex who have a STEMI heart attack would have 24-hour access to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, the Conquest Hospital in Hastings, and centres in Portsmouth, Ashford and Frimley.

Eastbourne Liberal Democrat MP Stephen Lloyd said he was concerned about the proposed changes and said he would fight the plans.

He said he was "completely surprised and bewildered" by the plan because Eastbourne had the largest population and the hospital had the most cardiologists.

Mr Lloyd and the Conservative MP for Hastings Amber Rudd have previously fought to retain separate maternity services at both the EDGH and the Conquest Hospital.

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