Oversight Committee ''disappointed'' at health sector no-shows

Eastbourne councillors have expressed their disappointment and frustration that local health service executives declined two invitations to attend and speak at the council’s influential all-party Scrutiny Committee. 

Committee chair Penny di Cara issued two separate invitations to East Sussex Healthcare Trust (ESHT) and Clinical Commissioning Groups to discuss the findings of a major independent survey of the experiences of all mothers across East Sussex who gave birth during the year 2016. 

The survey was conducted under the governance of the Office for National Statistics, and the detailed final report was published on October 27, 2017. At this point copies of the report were sent to health service providers, together with an invitation to attend the Council’s Scrutiny Committee on December 4, 2017. 

A further invitation was extended to the same groups to attend the Scrutiny Committee meeting on February 5, 2018 together with an offer to arrange an alternative date if preferred. Again, there was no take-up. 

At this week’s meeting of the Council’s Scrutiny Committee, members expressed their concern at the non-attendance of any service deliverers to discuss this important matter. Cllr di Cara said: We are very disappointed that not a single healthcare representative chose  to engage with us on the findings of this very important and thorough piece of research. I believe it reflects badly and sends a message that matters of concern regarding current service levels, particularly in respect of Eastbourne area mothers, are not being taken seriously. 

“We are aware that this matter is due to be discussed at the County Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee later this month and I sincerely hope that the issues identified in the survey are addressed with due care and attention,” she added. 

Published 13 February 2018