NHS East Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is restarting its consultation into the future of Eastbourne Station Health Centre from Monday 3 August 2020.
In February this year, local people were asked to have their say on proposals, which included closing the walk-in service at Eastbourne Station Health Centre. The consultation was planned to run from 3 February to 30 April but was paused due to the Covid-19 pandemic, in line with government guidance and to ensure the health and safety of the public and CCG staff.
After careful consideration, the governing body of NHS East Sussex CCG endorsed the restart of the consultation at its virtual public meeting on 29 July. The consultation will run from Monday 3 August 2020 until Monday 14 September 2020.
This is not a decision that has been taken lightly and the CCG recognises that people are still dealing with the effects that Covid-19 and lockdown restrictions continue to have on their lives. However, as lockdown is relaxed, and more workplaces and businesses start to re-open, the CCG feels that the time is right to re-start the process.
The CCG proposal follows extensive analysis about how and when local people are using the walk-in centre. This was combined with far-reaching engagement work with local people, stakeholders and partners to gather their feedback on the walk-in services in Eastbourne town centre and the other healthcare services they might use.
The CCG proposals focus on recent improvements to local services, including:
- Improved access GP appointments– Additional appointments with GPs, practice nurses or other health professionals in the evenings, weekends and on bank holidays. There is now an average of 1,900 appointments a month offered over and above those in ‘normal’ GP hours throughout the areas of Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford.
- NHS 111 which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and has fully trained call handlers including health care experts who can review people’s symptoms right there and then. NHS 111 may also be able to help you get a prescription, should this be necessary.
- Urgent Treatment Centres (UTCs) are now available at the Eastbourne District General Hospital and The Conquest Hospital in Hastings. Our Urgent Treatment Centres are open for at least 12 hours a day, every day of the week (including bank holidays). They offer a walk-in service, and from September 2020 people can be booked into the Urgent Treatment Centres by NHS 111. The purpose of Urgent Treatment Centres is to diagnose and treat those people attending A&E who have a minor injury or illness, such as sprains and strains, suspected broken limbs, ear and throat infections, and feverish illness in adults and children that really need to be seen on the same day.
People can give their feedback on the consultation in a number of ways:
- Via an online survey.
- By filling in the questionnaire included in the consultation document and posting it using the freepost envelope provided. To request a copy of the document you can email your name and address to: email@example.com or call 01273 403687.
- At online engagement events, the dates and timings of which will be published on the CCG website
- Deaf British Sign Language (BSL) users can share their views by using the free SignLive app that connects them to a qualified British Sign Language interpreter. More information about the service and when it is available is also on the CCG website
There is also a recently launched interactive webpage where you can share your stories and experiences, post questions and suggest ideas about the proposal and local NHS services and see all future events and opportunities to get involved in the consultation. There are also key documents including the consultation document, summaries in different languages and BSL and updated FAQs.
Whilst public events will be held virtually, face-to-face activities – where there are pre-existing events such as the Eastbourne open air market and socially-distanced mental health walks – will take place. The CCG will also offer more traditional ways of getting involved such as by telephone and post. From a review of the survey responses received so far the CCG has identified that the views of some community groups need strengthening. This includes parents of young children, people with sensory disabilities, and faith groups. The CCG is working with Community Voluntary Sector organisations who support those communities to do more targeted engagement.
People who have already completed the survey during the first phase of the consultation, either online or via post, do not need to complete it again as these responses will be assessed with all others received from 3 August and considered together before any decision is made.