By Lucette Davies

Our political system is failing the NHS. We lost the campaign to save Eastbourne’s walk-in centre. Despite, our population showing overwhelming support for it staying open.

We have also lost the battle to protect the NHS from a US-UK trade agreement. Although 98% of the people we asked said they would be entirely opposed to the NHS being included in such a trade agreement. A figure, that was reflected all around the country.

We need to ask what is going wrong? Why do campaigns with enormous public support fail when we live in a democracy? Information about proposed changes to services is hard to come by. NHS staff are clearly afraid to speak up when they know things are going wrong. The public are baffled by complex language, endless changes to the system and a baffling array of acronyms. And we mustn’t forget the fake news

During our campaign to save the walk-in centre it was apparent that the CCG was simply acting on decisions taken further up the ladder. So, we ask what is happening further up?

Our Government handed control of the NHS to the QUANGO, NHS England. Decisions can now be taken without any debate or vote in parliament. Obviously when NHS England took over the reins, our Government was confident they would not jeopardise their own political agenda.

Eastbourne is now just one of 238 walk-in centres that have closed since 2010. So, as we face our hospital services being taken over by a newly formed trust – we must look at what has been said by NHS England to predict where this will lead.

This new trust is being formed by the merger of Brighton and Sussex Universities Hospital Trust and West Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. It seems likely that this new trust will take over the running of many of our hospital services.

In West Sussex the trust was formed from the merger of two smaller trusts. The result was the loss of 2/3 of Southlands Hospital and patients having to make a 50mile round trip to Chichester for treatment. We fear this take over would be bad for both patients and staff.

Our population, regardless of any personal political opinions, cares about our NHS. Our local authority scrutinises any changes to NHS services in the local area. Which is why I will be standing as an Independent candidate for Hampden Park in the County Council elections this May. Councillors with party membership, are more likely to act on their party’s agenda than their own beliefs. We need more independents.

We will not just try and gather public support against this change. We will be asking the questions about how this will affect patients and staff. We will also encourage greater public awareness of how our NHS has changed.

Our campaign has developed into separate branches in Hastings and Eastbourne. Another branch is starting in Wealden this month. We are working with campaigns in Brighton, Hove and West Sussex. But every new person can offer something, will you get involved? Please get in touch with Lucette Davies (

Contact: Lucette Davies

Mobile: 07837 815006

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