Page last updated at 21:01 GMT, Friday, 3 April 2009 22:01 UK

Maternity campaigners win costs

Eastbourne
An Independent Review Panel ruled against the PCT plans

Organisers of a campaign to save maternity services at a hospital have won a battle to recoup the legal costs.

Two primary care trusts (PCTs) had aimed to improve services in Hastings, while downgrading those at Eastbourne District General Hospital (DGH).

Liz Walke, who led the Save the DGH campaign, said she felt "vindicated" by the Royal Courts of Justice decision.

A spokesperson for East Sussex Downs and Weald PCT and Hastings and Rother PCT said they would not appeal.

A judge ordered the PCTs to repay the costs incurred during Ms Walke's application for a judicial review, although a final settlement has not yet been agreed.

Thousands of people in Hastings and Eastbourne took to the streets to protest against plans to reconfigure the units.

The issue was also raised in the House of Commons by local MPs, and protesters met the then prime minister, Tony Blair.

Sarah Valentine, from East Sussex Downs and Weald PCT, said the trust was still working out a "development strategy" to configure services based on an Independent Review Panel ruling in favour of the campaigners in September 2008.



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