A CAMPAIGNER fighting to save Eastbourne’s Walk In Centre at the railway station fears it is a lost cause.
Lucette Davies from Hampden Park was speaking after Saturday’s latest consultation meeting on the issue.
NHS bosses say no final decision has been made but Lucette has posted a strong attack against them on the issue.
She said: “We have always felt that the decision was already taken some time ago and this ‘consultation’ is nothing more than an attempt to kid us all the decision was carefully considered and our views were taken into account.
“Closing walk-in centres has been national policy for some time now and we have seen them disappearing from towns all over the UK over the last few years.
“There was no reason to think Eastbourne would escape from this at all.
“We have many very strong arguments to back up our posiition, and the Eastbourne public have shown us they are overwhelmingly in support of this centre staying open.
“The alternatives to having this walk-in centre are just not satisfactory, especially considering the fact that Covid 19 has drastically increased the level of ill-health in our population.”
Lucette is also concerned about the homeless population who use the centre as it is so central in the town centre.
She said: “Homelessness too is likely to continue to increase. As hotels all return to their normal business, many of the homeless who were housed temporarily in them will soon be back on the streets.
“Landlords will also be free once again to start evicting tenants who have run into rent arrears.
“For many of the homeless, mental health is a very real issue, and we are likely to see a drastic increase in mental health problems across our entire population as we emerge from the pandemic.
“The walk-in centre offers a way of making that first point of contact with services for someone in mental distress that may feel much less threatening than a trip to the hospital or an out of town GP practice.
“Many people find telephone and online consultations inadequate, 111 is so appallingly bad that it is hard to believe it is going to suddenly turn into anything near acceptable by October.
“Many people already can’t find a GP with which they can register.
“The extra money being made available for GPs also comes with extra responsibilities.
“Many GPs have told us they do not believe that this extra money will go anywhere near covering the extra costs they will incur due to the increased responsibility.”
She went on: “We spoke up at the meeting yesterday and were met with a lot of empty words that said very little.
“We have requested that the CCG meets with this campaign to discuss our concerns.
“We need all of you who have shared their passionate support for our CCG with us to join forces with us and help really put the pressure on them to back down.
“The NHS belongs to us, it was paid for by us and is needed by our entire population.
“People do not cease to be unwell simply because healthcare does not exist.
“Cutting healthcare in the end starts affecting every aspect of our society and we could all pay a heavy pricee for that.”
The consultation finishes next Monday.