Petition calling for better health services in Seaford handed to health chiefs

A petition calling for the return of physiotherapy services to Seaford was handed to health chiefs this week.

Around 1,000 people had signed the petition which was given to members of the newly-established Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

They were faced with a demonstration outside their first meeting in public at St Leonard’s Church Hall in Church Lane on May 8.

Residents held up posters demanding outpatient clinics in Seaford and a physiotherapy service.

The demonstration was organised by the Campaign for Action on Seaford Health [CASH].

Ralph Taylor of CASH said: “We also asked questions at the meeting but feel we were fobbed off without proper answers.

“We’ve been campaigning for better services for eight years and thought our arguments had been accepted.

“Now, there’s even more delay whilst they do yet another ‘scoping exercise’.

“In the meantime, we’ve had our physiotherapy service taken away.

“The CCG needs to do something practical and actually provide better local services, otherwise it will just be dismissed as an empty talking-shop.”

Cllr Sam Adeniji (Seaford South, Con) said: “I presented to the chair of the CCG, Dr Martin Writer, a 1,000 signature petition calling for physiotherapy services, previously provided at Seaford Day Hospital, to be brought back locally to Seaford.

“The CCG keeps telling us that they are trying to find a suitable accommodation for the provision of physiotherapy services in Seaford, even though we have been able to identify Homefield Place as a potential venue for the provision of physiotherapy services.

“I am disappointed because it feels like we are going round in circles. The current arrangement is clearly unacceptable.

“It is wrong that we the people of Seaford, have health services taken away from us, instead of having more services provided locally here in Seaford.

“We have had comforting words from the CCG now is the time to turn words into deeds.”

In a response from the CCG it said detailed answers were given to all written questions submitted before the meeting in public, stressing questions were welcomed and answered as fully as possible within the time constraints.

A CCG spokesperson said: “It is therefore disappointing if Mr Taylor felt he’d been ‘fobbed off’.”

CCG chair Dr Martin Writer acknowledged the work of CASH but stressed that the CCG, established just five weeks ago and responsible for commissioning the majority of health services for 180,000 people, needed to fully understand local health needs and the impact any changes would have on the safety and quality of other services and other areas, particularly as a result of the significant financial challenges across the NHS in East Sussex.