SEAFORD: New paramedic plans underway as talks begin

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PLANS for a new paramedic practitioner to deal with minor injuries in Seaford are underway following talks between the town’s MP and the chief executive of the local NHS ambulance trust.

Paul Sutton and Norman Baker have met several times and it has been agreed that discussions will now take place between the ambulance trust and local GP surgeries to iron out the details.

There is already a team of paramedic practitioners available for the Seaford area but they are not based in the town.

Early stages of these plans involve basing a team more locally to Seaford, therefore increasing the chance of residents being seen in their own town if needed. Paramedic practitioners are one of a number of resources the South East Coast Ambulance Services can call on when they receive an emergency call.

Paramedic practitioners are paramedics who have undergone additional education and training to equip them with greater patient assessment and management skills. They are able to diagnose a wide range of conditions and are skilled to treat many minor injuries and illnesses.

Last year Mr Baker accused the East Sussex and Downs Weald Primary Care Trust (PCT) of a ‘betrayal of the people of Seaford’ after plans to provide a health facility in the town were shelved. He and residents were left furious after the PCT announced it could not support proposals to provide a much needed health facility.

This followed the news that a potential site had been identified but hopes were then dashed when the organisation said a new build or refurbishment of existing premises could not go ahead, partly due to financial constraints.

Mr Baker said he would continue to fight to ensure that residents got the service they deserved and added, “I welcome the engagement that I have received from Paul Sutton and the provision of local paramedic practitioner will be a welcome step forward, but we must, and will, continue to do all we can to secure the provision of a minor injuries service, diagnostic testing and other basic NHS services for Seaford’s residents.”

A spokesperson for NHS East Sussex Downs and Weald said, “NHS East Sussex Downs and Weald will continue to work with local people and GPs to ensure services meet the needs of the local population within the available resources.

“Our focus is on improving the delivery of local health services and making the very best use of local facilities, expertise and the public funds we receive.”