Seaford GP services reach crisis point while minister does nothing

Seaford residents and those providing primary care in the town are being let down by Maria Caulfield, newly promoted Minister for Patient Safety and Primary Care.

Both Old School Surgery and Seaford Medical Practice the two doctors’ surgeries in Seaford have put a cap on new patients. There are exceptions for local care homes, immediate family members and newly born or adopted babies.

Liberal Democrats have encouraged use of the car park behind Seaford Medical Practice to redevelop the site to expand provision. The space has been offered by Lewes District Council for free.

The government has been encouraged to urgently address support for GPs after doctors’ numbers have put a strain on those still working.

james_maccleary02_600.jpgJames MacCleary, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary spokesperson for Seaford explains: “Both the Seaford GP practices have been forced to put a temporary cap on their lists meaning that no new patients can be registered at either practice. Every week I have residents contacting me from Seaford and elsewhere in the constituency about how hard it is to access a GP. These are basic services that we should be able to access when we need them and have always been able to take for granted. The government have allowed this situation to develop despite loud warnings from doctors, nurses and from across the whole medical profession.

“Instead of action, all we get from the local Tory MP (and Health Minister), Maria Caulfield, is excuses and finger pointing. Seaford deserves much better. I will keep pressing for the redevelopment of the Seaford Medical Practice site at Dane Road.”

Cllr Christine Brett adds: “The pressure our GP services have been under will only be made worse by the current planning applications from Churchill Homes and McCarthy Stone who are seeking to impose unwanted and unnecessary accommodation for older people who will increase the demands on these services. At the same time, they are proposing to demolish perfectly good family homes. We need urgent action to support our local health services to support any new houses.”

Cllr Carolyn Lambert adds: “We have known for years about the accommodation problems being experienced by hardworking and committed staff at both practices. It is not the duty of local councils to sort this out – it rests squarely with central government and the Clinical Commissioning Groups who are funded to provide this, yet Maria Caulfield has done nothing to help solve what is clearly now a crisis. It is time that she put local residents ahead of her government job for once!”

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