The battle to save our walk-in centre at Eastbourne continues and all the time we are collecting more evidence in favour of keeping the walk-in centre. But the CCG seems determined and so we must fight on. We are getting masses of support from the public and our survey of public opinion showed that we do very much need the walk-in centre. The position of the CCG is really saying that we don’t need it. They say that as we have a few surgeries offering evening and weekend appointments, we have the 111 service and we have an urgent treatment centre at the hospital so the walk-in centre is in fact no longer needed. Which seems to fly in the face of the fact that should you wish to see a doctor at the walk-in centre you may be told you have to wait for 4-6hrs.
Here are the main factors that make us say the walk-in centre must stay open.
- Less than 20% of the Eastbourne population will say that they now have no difficulty in gettng a GP appointment when they need it.
- Our access to primary care is likely to be reduced in the near future.
- Pressure on our A&E department often comes from people being unable to get a GP appointment when they need it.
- People do not cease to be ill when services are cut.
- When services are cut it is often impossible to get them back.
- When we approach members of the public to sign our petition against the closure between 80 and 90% are happy to do so.
- Eastbourne is a town which relies on visitor numbers and it makes sense to provide them with a medical facility in the town cente.
- There are many other groups of people such as the homeless or those in poverty who need a facility in the town centre.
- If we are asking people to travel to the hospital for the urgent care centre many won’t and may become more ill and for some the cost of a bus fare will be prohibitive. We need to remember that Stagecoach has twice reduced the frequency of the Loop bus to the hospital.
- The NHS 111 service is rated by a survey of people in our town as bad nearly twice as often as it is rated as good.
- The population of our town clearly want the walk-in centre to stay open.
- 3,500 people are registered at the walk-in centre and would need to be accommodated by other GP surgeries if this closed. We also have the likely closure of a surgery in Hampden Park which would mean even more people would need accommodating.
With this campaign we have the support of the following organisations:-
- Eastbourne Labour Party
- Eastbourne Green Party
- Eastbourne Lib Dems
- East Sussex Co-Operative Party
- Eastbourne Trades Council
- Eastbourne People’s Assembly
- Eastbourne Unite Community
- Eastbourne Blind Society
- Warming up the Homeless
- Eastbourne Seniors Forum
- Eastbourne Chamber of Commerce
- Eastbourne Hospitality Association
- Eastbourne Access Group
- Eastbourne Mencap
- Eastbourne Voice
- Eastbourne Volunteers
- Eastbourne Memory Lane
We are waiting to hear back from other organisations who we have contacted for support. We also have the support of Cllr David Tutt, Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council. Caroline Ansell MP has said she came to support the protest on Saturday but declined to sign our petition. If anyone belongs to another organisation that we have not listed here but woud like to support this campaign please send us a message in the comment box below.
We have set up one more date for collecting petition signatures and that is for this Saturday 7 March at 11.30am. We meet outside the station and all are welcome.
We have also set a date for another protest to happen. This will be on Saturday 28 March at 1pm outside the station. Hopefully this will be even bigger than the last protest! Please bring your friends and family.
Please do engage with the formal public consultation by picking up a booklet at the walk-in centre or through the CCGs dedicated webpage. Please make sure you tell them what you are telling us.
You can also help us by continuing to sign and share our online petition.
Thanks to all who have helped this campaign in any way at all.