Keep Hastings Station Plaza Walk-in Health Centre!

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We the undersigned call upon Hastings and Rother Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to scrap its proposal to close the Walk-in Centre at Station Plaza Hastings and relocate the service to Conquest Hospital.

Some background:

The Walk-in Health Centre is on the ground floor of the Station Plaza Health Centre building. I'm the lead petitioner for this, on behalf of Hastings and Rye Constituency Labour Party. Here are some reasons why I think we need to keep our Walk-in Health Centre in the Town Centre:

– If you are a woman with a urinary tract infection that’s gone to your kidneys, the walk-in centre is accessible and tests can be done then and there and anti-biotics prescribed if necessary. (... Even if you were lucky enough to get an instant appointment with your GP, the urine test is sent up to the Conquest, adding 24 hours to your pain and the infection impacting seriously on your kidneys.)

– If you are not registered with a local doctor – you might be a visitor, a foreign language student in the town, or someone who has mental health issues or is homeless the Walk-in Centre is the perfect place to go.

– Hastings – and Rye – GP surgeries are so over-prescribed and under-staffed, it can be really difficult to get a quick appointment for something that needs to be seen quickly, but is not an accident or emergency worthy of wasting the time and resources of A&E at the Conquest. Again, this town centre resource is accessible by public transport.

Why is it under threat?

Our local NHS Services are under attack from the Conservative government. The Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) that provide healthcare in our area have been placed in ‘special financial measures’ – this means they have to find savings of £18m. One of the proposed cuts to save this money is to close the Walk-In Healthcare Centre at Station Plaza. This centre is used by many of the most vulnerable people in our town especially, but also by many others who can’t get on a GP list, because of the GP shortage in Hastings.

The CCG is proposing to relocate the Walk-In Centre to the Conquest Hospital – but this is much harder to get to and will place unnecessary pressure on a busy A&E department. The Labour councillor on the East Sussex Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee has opposed this proposal, which was put on hold over the summer, but is going to be considered again in September.

Peter Chowney, Leader of Hastings Council and Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Hastings & Rye, has written to the CCG opposing the closure. He says:

“The Walk-In Centre was created as part of the new Station Plaza Health Complex, funded by the last Labour government. For many people, who for various reasons can’t get onto a GP list, this is their only source of primary health care. Many of them are the most vulnerable in our community. Moving it to the Conquest Hospital isn’t a realistic option – it just means telling people to go to the hospital A&E department, which is already overstretched. The Conquest is also much harder to get to. I appreciate that like all public services, the local CCGs are facing big cuts because of government austerity policies. But this closure must not take place.”



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