Brighton station GP walk-in centre given 6-month reprieve

13 November 2018

Proposals to close the Brighton Station walk-in centre in March have been put on hold for a further six months.

A Council report has revealed that the walk-in centre will be funded until September 2019, while commissioners of the service ‘will not implement any significant changes until public engagement is complete.’ [1]

Green Councillors and Caroline Lucas MP raised concerns with health officials over their proposals to replace at short notice the walk-in centre with some services in ‘GP clusters,’ plans that Green Health Spokesperson Cllr Dick Page described as ‘vague and unrealistic.’

Questions from the Green Group of Councillors have revealed a serious underlying problem: that the city faces an estimated shortage of one GP to every 2,500 patients, a figure worse than other Sussex areas and now the second worst ratio anywhere in England. [2]

Greens also called for more information on the impact that closing the walk-in centre could have on already stretched A&E (accident and emergency) services at the Royal Sussex County Hospital. [3] Around 400 patients a week are seen by clinicians at the walk-in centre, which is open from 8am – 8pm, seven days a week.  [4] There are currently six different ways an individual can access urgent ‘same day’ care in Brighton and Hove, including 8am ‘ring up and be seen’ appointments at GP practices. However most options are unavailable if someone is not registered with a GP.

Pointing to the increasing pressures facing local health services, Greens are now urging health officials to produce a clear plan for the future of urgent, or ‘same-day,’ care.  

Green Health and Wellbeing Spokesperson Dick Page commented:

“Although news that the walk-in centre will remain open for a further six months is welcome, we still have serious concerns over the future of non-hospital urgent care. Proposals to replace the centre with GP clusters seem vague and unrealistic. 

“Given the numbers of patients that are likely to be diverted from A&E by the provision of a walk-in centre - including those who are transient, who have not registered with a GP, or who simply are not able to see their GP, any proposals to close it will need to be supported by a clear contingency plan – not just more talk of ‘integration’ or ‘hubs,’ which are often a smokescreen for local health services absorbing yet more cuts. There also needs to be a clear and specific public consultation, laying out the facts, finances and options - without any spin.”

 

ENDS---

Notes for Editors

[1] Health and Wellbeing Board, 13th November: ‘Integrated Care Model’ p.261 http://present.brighton-hove.gov.uk/Published/C00000826/M00008124/$$ADocPackPublic.pdf

[2] Figures obtained by Cllr Dick Page in December 2017 revealed there is one GP to every 2,500 patients in Brighton and Hove
https://www.brightonhovegreens.org/news/2017/12/05/greens-call-for-action-on-alarming-gp-shortage/ and https://present.brighton-hove.gov.uk/Published/C00000912/M00008107/$$ADocPackPublic.pdf p.472

[3] Cllr Dick Page raised questions over the closure of the Walk-In Centre during a meeting of Health and Wellbeing Board, September 2018. https://present.brighton-hove.gov.uk/mgAi.aspx?ID=68685 Cllr Alex Phillips also raised questions about its closure at July 2018 Full Council: https://present.brighton-hove.gov.uk/mgAi.aspx?ID=66434


[4] ‘Brighton Station Walk In Centre To Close’ – Brighton and Hove News, June 2018: https://www.brightonandhovenews.org/2018/06/18/brighton-station-walk-in-centre-to-close/






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