Fight to save Hastings health centre at Station Plaza is closer to victory, say campaigners

Campaigners in Station Plaza at a protest in October last year
Campaigners in Station Plaza at a protest in October last year

Campaigners fighting to keep the Station Plaza walk-in health centre in the town centre are confident they have scored a victory.

Hastings and Rother Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has confirmed one of the options it is exploring is further development of health services at Station Plaza.

This comes after a series of protests were held late last year by Hastings & Rye Labour party and union activists.

More than 5,000 people also signed paper and online petitions, the party said.

The campaign arose after NHS bosses unveiled proposals to move the walk-in centre to the Conquest Hospital in St Leonards.

The option of retaining the centre will need the final backing of NHS England, the party said.

Peter Chowney, Labour parliamentary candidate for Hastings & Rye, said: “This is good news. But I remain concerned about health services in Hastings & Rye. We have still have a significant shortage of GPs, staff shortages in our hospitals and rumours of proposed closures of services at the Conquest. This together with cuts to NHS budgets, resulting in regional reorganisations, will leave Hastings with less of a voice in the future of its healthcare services.” A spokesman for Hastings & Rye Labour party said: “The Station Plaza centre has proved a life-saver for patients not able to register with a GP. A significant minority of patients have complex medical needs, including mental health issues. Most people would have found getting to and from the Conquest Hospital difficult and costly.

“This emerged as a major issue during the campaign. A return journey to the Conquest by bus for a parent and ill child could cost £7.90 and a change of buses. Bus journeys to Station Plaza from Hollington and Ore are easier and cheaper. Demand for the centre has also increased over the last few years.”

A spokesman for NHS Hastings and Rother CCG said: “We are currently reviewing health services in Hastings town centre in order to make sure we have the right services for local people in place.

“We have been meeting and talking with residents, stakeholders and partners to get their feedback and help shape our proposals.

“This has indicated a need to retain relevant health care services within the town centre, particularly for some of our more vulnerable patients, so a number of options are being explored, including the further development of GP and other health and social care services at Station Plaza in Hastings.

“As part of this engagement process, on July 26 the CCG briefed the East Sussex Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) Review Board about our emerging thinking to help further develop our plans.

“We will continue to finalise our proposals which will be considered at the meeting of our Governing Bodies on September 25. A report about the final recommendations will then be presented to the meeting of the full HOSC group on September 26.”

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