Eastbourne GPs may have no room if station walk-in centre closes, says MP

Eastbourne GP services may not have the room to take on patients if the station walk-in centre closes, according to the MP.

Wednesday, 11th March 2020, 5:16 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th March 2020, 5:19 pm

Caroline Ansell has today (March 11) expressed ‘deepening concerns’ behind one of the key reasons behind plans to close the service.

Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has launched a consultation over the plans to shut the doors of the walk-in facility.

The NHS group says the around 3,400 patients registered at the centre’s GP surgery would be able to go to other surgeries in the town.

However, Mrs Ansell says research by her office suggests Arlington Road, Bolton Road and Lighthouse surgeries have suspended their lists and are not open to new patients.

While Grove Road surgery is full and a doctor has left and only Enys Road – which is moving out of the town centre – has a small number of places.

The MP said, “When I went to the station walk-in centre myself and talked with staff and patients, I was given a copy of the consultation and the list of potential GP practices patients could move to.

“That list has seemingly turned to dust in the face of these findings. It is a real concern to me that those registered at the station will be left without a local GP practice to join.

“I have written to the CCG today to ask for their response to my findings.”

Mrs Ansell says she is also concerned for potential future town residents.

She said, “What account has been made of potential new housing development at the heart of the town centre, at Debenhams and TJ Hughes? The pressure on GP surgeries will only increase.”

“I respect that this plan for closure has been put forward by health officials and doctors in the CCG. They are the experts.

“I also understand that, with new technologies and specialisms, services need to evolve but in my first challenge to the proposal to close, I need to know just how the centre’s GP patients can be registered elsewhere.”

East Sussex Save the NHS is holding a protest against the planned closure outside the railway station on Saturday, March 28, at 1pm.