East Sussex Healthcare Trust has failed the people of Seaford, according to former town mayor Ralph Taylor.
Mr Taylor, who was Mayor of Seaford in 2007-8 and is a founder member of the Campaign for Action on Seaford Health [CASH], is backing cllr Sam Adeniji’s petition to bring physiotherapy services back to Seaford.
East Sussex Healthcare Trust said it wanted to bring physiotherapy services back to the town, but had been unable to find a suitable location.
Mr Taylor said: “CASH has known since May that the Partnership Trust wants to sell the day hospital site.
“The Healthcare Trust [which provides physiotherapy services] must have known before that but they have just sat on their hands. The reality is that they have been so obsessed with hospital reorganisation that they have forgotten about basic community services such as physiotherapy.”
Mr Taylor added: “Seaford has so many elderly people who rely on a local physiotherapy service to keep them mobile.
“The trust says that patients can be treated at Newhaven Polyclinic or Eastbourne DGH. The first is up a steep hill, whilst it takes two buses to get to the DGH.
“The trust has even suggested that patients could go to Amberstone, which just shows how out of touch with reality they are.”
Campaigners have suggested physiotherapy could be provided at Homefield Place in Seaford but the Healthcare Trust says there is no room there at present.
Mr Taylor added: “I just don’t believe this. I’ve been to Homefield Place recently and seen with my own eyes that there is spare capacity.”
The trust said it had gone to great efforts to find a suitable alternative location in Seaford for its physiotherapy service since it found out about the proposed sale of Seaford Day Hospital.
A trust spokesperson added: “We have tried to find alternative accommodation at Homefield Place but there is no spare space at present because it is being taken up by other related health services that have moved from Seaford Day Hospital.
“We require a sizeable clinical space for all our equipment to provide a safe physiotherapy service and following extensive efforts we have so far been unsuccessful in finding such a suitable location in Seaford.”
The trust said its plan to provide a triage service in Seaford with patients receiving any further treatment at Newhaven Poly Clinic was “not ideal” and but that it needed suitable clinical accommodation from which to provide physiotherapy services in Seaford.
Cllr Adeniji’s petition is in newsagents and other shops in the town, or at www.samadeniji.co.uk/petition