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Last Updated: Monday, 17 December 2007, 19:02 GMT
Festive protest over NHS proposal
Protesters with the Christmas card
Protesters have said both towns should offer full maternity services
Campaigners fighting to keep maternity services at two East Sussex hospitals have taken their protest to London.

It comes ahead of a meeting this week to decide if services at Eastbourne should be scaled down, and replaced with an improved unit in Hastings.

Protesters delivered two huge Christmas cards from the people of both towns, warning the health secretary that lives would be put at risk.

The plan will be considered at a board meeting of two primary care trusts.

Health bosses are recommending that a single consultant-led maternity unit should be based in Hastings, with Eastbourne having midwife care.

But protesters have said both towns should offer full maternity services.

Liz Walke, of The Save Eastbourne DGH campaign, said: "We have the mandate of the people to keep fighting, and that's what we will do.

"We will end up in the High Court if necessary - we will do whatever it takes. We will keep on fighting. We need to preserve the lives of these mums and babies."

Public fears were first raised in early 2006 over the possible loss of maternity services at either Eastbourne District General Hospital or the Conquest Hospital, Hastings.

The Save Eastbourne DGH and Hands Off The Conquest campaign groups have since organised protest marches and the issue has been raised by local MPs in the House of Commons.

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
The Eastbourne unit is expected to be downgraded



SEE ALSO
Closure plan for maternity unit
14 Dec 07 |  Sussex
NHS campaigners take to streets
17 Nov 07 |  Sussex
'No decision' over NHS services
29 Nov 06 |  Southern Counties
Anger at NHS consultation 'farce'
23 Nov 06 |  Southern Counties
Blair meets hospital campaigners
11 Oct 06 |  Southern Counties

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