When we are in good health, we sometimes take it for granted - we all know and hate the moment when we feel the start of a cold coming on. Being healthy both mentally and physically is vital to living out our lives which is why I have always campaigned for better health services for our residents.
We have a number of local health services. Notably, our Walk-In Centre at Station Plaza is an excellent facility for our town. In its current location, it is just moments from the train station, bus station and town centre. The plans to move the service from the town centre to the Conquest Hospital will make it harder to access for those who need its services the most.
This is why, last Friday, I held a public meeting with members of the NHS Hastings and Rother Clinical Commissioning Group, Cllr Peter Chowney, Leader of Hastings Borough Council, Amanda Philpott, Executive Director of Health and Care Strategy at Sussex and East Surrey Sustainability and Transformation Partnership and Mariann Cleverley, Associate Locality Director for Hastings and Eastbourne at Integrated Care 24, who own the Walk-In Centre, to allow our residents to voice their opinions on the proposed relocation.
Despite being held on a Friday afternoon, the turnout at the meeting clearly shows local residents’ passionate feelings on the matter. The meeting reinforced the local view that we need a central location to provide medical support for minor injuries. Moving this facility to the Conquest hospital would no longer suit local residents as it would lose its central location. This would also defeat the purpose of taking the strain off of services at the Conquest, including the essential A&E department.
I am clear that a dialogue with Hastings and Rother CCG must be continued going forwards, and I will oppose the proposal that the Walk-In Centre should be closed and its services be offered at the Conquest Hospital instead. I thank all residents who attended my meeting last Friday, and I hope that I can work together with everyone – putting our political differences aside – to protect this essential service to our town.