HEALTH bosses have been explaining this morning why closing the Walk In Centre at Eastbourne Railway Station is being proposed.

They have given three key reasons today:

  1. Other services can and will provide the same care
  2. Keeping it open is not the best use of public money
  3. There is more holistic care available that is good, effective and safe for everyone.

An online meeting is being held today as part of the ongoing public consultation into the controversial plans.

No final decision has been made but NHS chiefs say they want ‘to give local people more options, better support and joined up care.”

Two thirds of patients who use the Walk In Centre need a prescription.

Some 19 per cent need advice, seven per cent need to be referred to a GP or pharmacy or other relevant service, and another seven per cent need treatment on site.

The clear message is that patients will be able to go elsewhere.

From October 1, the NHS 111 service will be enhanced and there will be phone calls and online consultations available as well as early evening and weekend consultations.

Some 16 per cent of patients at the Walk In Centre are from out of area, and the biggest group of patients are working age adult.

Some patients who use the centre are homeless/rough sleepers and they will be encouraged to access services such as the Salvation Army and The Matthew 25 Mission.

There is also the ‘Rough Sleepers Initiative’ which means the homeless can access health services.

Patients would automatically be allocated to GPs across Eastbourne ‘based on patient choice.’

There will also be increased capacity from the new health centre being built in Old Town.

This will come from the merging of the Green Street, Enys Road and Bolton Road surgeries. They will have a town centre branch.

The key message was that there WILL be enough capacity for everyone to transfer to a different GP.

NHS chiefs say it’s not about saving money. They say ‘money follows the patient.’

An extra £1 million has also been allocated to local GP practices.

After the presentation, residents were able to voice their concerns about the potential closure.