Better deal on health pledged for Seaford

Seaford is the town of broken promises when it comes to health care, the town’s MP told the House of Commons.

Norman Baker, leading a debate on health provision locally, said he was particularly concerned about the largest town in his constituency.

He said, “It’s where we have had broken promise after broken promise from NHS bodies over very many years.

“They have always promised to improve services, to provide more local services, to introduce diagnostic testing and the like, and one after another those promises have been broken by successive primary care trusts, strategic health authorities and the rest.

“I welcome the fact that we now have local GPs involved who live in Seaford and therefore have some chance, through the clinical commissioning groups that the coalition introduced, of bringing some services to the town that are not currently there.

“Specifically, it is shocking that a town the size of Seaford with its population spread – there are many elderly people – has no minor injuries facility.

“I have been in discussions about this with the CCG and with the local ambulance trust. In my view, the local ambulance trust ought to provide paramedics to help with the provision of minor injuries facilities in Seaford, if only by stationing ambulances that are not required on urgent calls, thereby diverting people away from accident and emergency services and enabling them to stay in their own town rather than having to travel a very long way to Eastbourne or Brighton.

“My first request to the Minister is that he should have discussions with the ambulance trust to make progress on ensuring that a facility of some sort, even a mobile one, can be put in place for my constituents in Seaford so that they are able to have their minor injuries dealt with, sensibly, in the town rather than clogging up the accident and emergency unit at Eastbourne.

“We have a new facility in Seaford – the Horder Centre, which I argued for and which is now delivering some services. It has taken over from Seaford Day Hospital, which was a mental health facility. However, its range of services is inadequate, and I would like more NHS business to be put through it, given that there is capacity in the building.

“My second request to the Minister is to engage with the Horder Centre to find out whether we can extend the range of services in that building to ensure, again, that pressure is taken off A and E departments.”

He added that the Newhaven Downs facility was “chronically unde-rused”.