Central Brighton GP Surgery Closure Put on Hold
Plans to close the Brighton Station walk-in health centre next March have been put on hold for a further six months, meaning the centre will continue to receive funding and remain open until at least September 2019.
A council report has revealed that no ‘significant changes’ will be made until they have completed full public engagement on the issue, with the Green Party announcing that Brighton residents deserve answers on the future of their healthcare.
The original plans for the closure outline the intent to replace the health centre with some of the services provided being by ‘GP Clusters’, which serve a larger volume of patients. However, Green Health Spokesperson Councillor Dick Page has described these plans as being ‘vague and unrealistic.’
These plans could potentially plummet the city into a healthcare crisis even worse than the one it’s currently facing. The Green Party have shed light on statistics showing that Brighton has an average of 1 GP to every 2,500 patients, putting it in a far worse position than the rest of the Sussex region, and only the second worst ratio in the whole country.
The Green Party have also called for more information to be provided how the closure of the walk-in centre would impact the already struggling Royal Sussex Hospital’s Accident and Emergency department. Figures show that around 400 patients per week benefit from the walk-in service provided, begging the question of where will these people turn if the centre were to close – in many cases, it would be to A&E.
As part of the pressure that the Green Party are putting on health care officials to produce clearer plans for the future of the city’s healthcare, councillor Dick Page has released a statement:
“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, […] 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.”