SEAFORD: Trust urged to improve town’s health services

A SEAFORD businessman is putting pressure on the Primary Care Trust (PCT) to meet with the community after it withdrew its support for a much-needed health facility in the town.

Samuel Adejini has put together a petition to campaign for a cottage hospital in Seaford and is calling for a public meeting so concerned residents can make their voices heard.

The father-of-three, who has gained nearly 900 signatures of support, also called on the PCT to recognise the need for more outpatient services in the town.

He said residents should not have to travel to Eastbourne and Brighton for simple outpatient services, minor treatments and operations.

He said it was high time the people of Seaford let the PCT know they ‘would not give up without a fight’.

Regarding his petition he added, “The interest has been great and I’ve had hundreds of signatures and quite a few emails as well.

“I’m trying to get the PCT to have a public meeting in Seaford so they can meet with the people to explain the situation and listen to our concerns.”

The 45-year-old, who owns the V Bar in Pelham Yard, is also keen to present the petition to representatives from the PCT.

Anger erupted in the town after the East Sussex and Downs Weald PCT announced it could not support proposals for a much needed health facility in Seaford.

A potential site had been highlighted but hopes for any development were quashed when the PCT said a new build or refurbishment of existing premises could not go ahead due to financial constraints.

Campaigners are keen for the town to see improved health services and say existing premises could be looked at for this to be delivered.

Councillor Ralph Taylor, who has been heavily involved with the issue, said he was delighted the petition had been so well received.

Referring to the PCT he added, “We would like them to really give us priority, we feel this is urgent and we want services closer to home and for them not to leave this all to the GPs.”

As a result of the changes to the NHS, Primary Care Trusts, including NHS East Sussex Downs and Weald, will cease to exist from April 2013 with groups, or consortia, of local GPs taking over the commissioning of health services for local people.

A PCT spokesperson said, “We are committed to working with local people and leading GPs to ensure that the work we have already done is used effectively to develop services within the existing facilities in Seaford.

“It is important to stress that the focus going forward should be on the delivery of services rather than a new building.

“We are planning to hold a ‘Health Fair’ in Seaford in the spring to help local people understand what services are already in place, as well as allow us to answer any queries which are raised and gather people’s views to help inform future planning.

“Once arrangements for the ‘Health Fair’ are in place we will, of course, advertise this event widely across the Seaford area.”

Anyone who would like to sign Mr Adejini’s petition can contact him on 07988 122044.