Norman Baker calls for a "fair deal" on healthcare provisions for Lewes constituency
Norman Baker MP led a debate in Parliament this week about Health Care Provision in the Lewes Constituency
During the debate Norman called for:
· A robust way of handling minor injuries locally
·Expansion to the range of treatments and services provided, in already established local facilities
·Improved GP facilities
· A halt to the transfer of services from Eastbourne DGH to the Conquest in Hastings
· All sections of NHS to work together to produce a fair deal locally
Norman wants different sections of the NHS to work together to produce a fair deal. He argues that providing better facilities in each local town is not only more convenient for local residents, but also helps the NHS by taking pressure off local A&E departments.
Speaking during the debate Norman said about Seaford:
“I am particularly concerned about the situation in Seaford, the largest town in my constituency, with a population of some 25,000, 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. Lewes, where I live in the constituency, does have such a facility at Lewes Victoria hospital, but Seaford, which is much larger, does not. 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 to secure treatment. 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, which, as I say, is not meeting its target of delivering treatment to 95% of people within four hours.
“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.
“Another issue relates to the Newhaven Downs facility, which is just to the west of Newhaven and not very far from Seaford. This is a relatively new facility and is of quite a good standard, but it is chronically underused. I want to know why, when we are short of money, we have a good facility that is not being used to anything like its maximum potential. It could be used to deal with people from Newhaven and Seaford in my constituency and from Peacehaven in the constituency of the hon. Member for Brighton, Kemptown (Simon Kirby). What is the forward plan for improving and increasing the use of the Newhaven Downs facility?
“I am conscious that one of the problems is that if we are to invest locally in primary care, we have to keep the A and E facilities and the acute hospital money there."