SEAFORD MP Norman Baker has joined ranks with a county councillor in a bid to see changes to the town’s health services.
Councillor Jon Freeman and the MP announced they intend to set up a new organisation called ‘The Friends of Seaford Health’ to bolster the voice of the town in arguing for more NHS investment locally.
The idea was discussed at a meeting that Mr Baker called which took place at the end of January at Seaford Health Centre.
The meeting was attended by local GPs, councillors and campaigners and it is hoped the organisation will include people from both main political parties in the town, as well as residents who do not represent either.
Mr Baker said, “I have been fighting on health with local residents for years through petitions, meetings and public demonstrations. We have seen our local demands ignored and promises broken, while Seaford residents have been left with inadequate health provision in the town.
“Yet we have another window of opportunity provided by the changes taking place within the NHS to argue the case for Seaford. To do that, I think we need a strong cross-party voice and that is what Jon and I are proposing.”
Residents and politicians have been campaigning for years for improvements to Seaford’s health facilities and were dealt a blow when the Primary Care Trust announced it could no longer support plans to provide a health facility partly due to financial constraints.
Since then a series of talks have been held, one which saw GPS from Old School Surgery and Seaford Medical Practice look at the best way forward to bring outpatient services to Seaford.
Cllr Freeman, who was at the latest meeting, added, “We believe that outpatient services can be improved and are cost effective. Existing buildings can be better used although a commitment to a new building is still vital in both service and financial terms.
“We call for the people of Seaford to ‘stand up and back our call’ for a friends of Seaford Health campaigning group to be set up across party and across voluntary organisations so that we can better influence and storm the citadels of health power so that Seaford is on the map and not relegated to a 28,000 strong backwater…up the creek without a health paddle.”