Eastbourne station health centre could close

Eastbourne Railway Station Health Centre (Photo by Jon Rigby)
Eastbourne Railway Station Health Centre (Photo by Jon Rigby)

The walk-in health centre in Eastbourne station could close as part of NHS plans to streamline services.

An initial public consultation has been launched into the future of the service, and is running until Saturday, August 31.

This comes after Eastbourne Hailsham and Seaford CCG says the services at the centre are going to be covered by a range of other services available locally – including the 11 phone service, new urgent treatment centres at hospitals, and more widely available GP appointments.

The CCG said in a statement on its website, “The services at Eastbourne Station Health Centre are now duplicated by a range of other services available locally, especially primary care improved access.

“We have the improved 111 service and shortly we’ll have the urgent treatment centres at our local hospitals.

“Our latest information suggests demand for walk-in services in Eastbourne is decreasing, with fewer and fewer people using the service. We have a duty to spend money responsibly.

“As a consequence of all these factors, we have to consider whether we need the walk-in service anymore and if it is a good thing for us to be spending money on. We’d like to hear what you think about this so you can help us shape our options.”

The NHS group said it looked at four different days in 2018 and found the vast majority of patients used the walk-in service for “non-urgent primary care health issues” – with 65 per cent needing a prescription, and 21 per cent receiving advice to treat an issue by themselves.

The remaining 14 per cent were referrals to a pharmacy, their own GP, or another service, with a small number receiving treatment on site.

It said this showed people are using the walk-in service for health issues that could be dealt with by other services in the town centre.

Meanwhile from December, new “urgent treatment centres” will be opening in Eastbourne DGH and Hastings Conquest hospitals.

The CCG says these will provide urgent care services for local people, and will be available for 12 hours every day. Patients will be seen by nurses, GPs, and other clinicians, and the centres will be equipped to diagnose and deal with many of the common ailments people go to A&E for.

This includes broken limbs, skin infections and rashes, vomiting and diarrhoea, and there will be a walk-in service and bookable on-the-day appointments.

The CCG says it is shaping its options, and if this involves changes to the service at Eastbourne Station Health Centre the public will be consulted again in the autumn.

To view the consultation, visit www.eastbournehailshamseafordccg.nhs.uk