The future of Eastbourne Station Health Centre

Consultation update – 23 March 2020

This is the latest news from the NHS concerning the proposed closure of the Walk -in Health Centre at Eastbourne Station.

It is worth a read to see what is proposed and why, and how we can have a say in what we think to the proposals.

“Thank you to everyone who has already given us their views about our consultation into the future of Eastbourne Station Health Centre. We launched our consultation before the Covid-19 pandemic began and this has obviously had an impact on our plans. The health and safety of the public and our staff is our top priority so we are now reviewing whether we need to postpone the consultation process and re-start it later this year. Our consultation plans include a large number of face-to-face events and visits to some of our most vulnerable groups to ensure that as many views and comments from across our diverse communities are gathered. As a result of the advice and guidance issued by the government, we are pausing all face-to-face engagement with the public and stakeholder groups for the next two weeks and will provide an update as soon as possible.

People can still participate in the consultation online or request a copy of the consultation document by post (details below).

All the feedback received so far will be retained and considered before a final decision is made, regardless of whether we have to postpone the consultation and re-start it later this year.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

How you can get involved

Please read the information on this page or download our consultation document before taking part in our consultation. All of the documents you need to take part are listed below.

For more information you can also read our:

Paper copies of the consultation document are available from Eastbourne Station Health Centre, Terminus Road, Eastbourne BN21 3QJ. You can also call us on 01273 403687, or email us at and we will send you a copy.

What are we doing?

After careful consideration, and the approval of its governing body on 29 January 2020, NHS Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford (EHS) Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is consulting on a proposal to close the walk-in service at Eastbourne Station Health Centre and this is your opportunity to have your say. 

This consultation will run from Monday 3 February – Thursday 30 April. You can read about the consultation and the CCG’s review of services provided at Eastbourne Station Health Centre and the town in our consultation document. You can feedback in a number of ways, keep reading to find out how in our ‘what’s next?’ section.

Nothing is changing immediately and local people are still able to access walk-in services in the current location, seven days a week, from 8am-8pm. People registered with a GP at Eastbourne Station Health Centre are also still able to access appointments in the usual way. 

Why are we doing this?

We want to make sure that local people have access to the right services for them. Walk-in centres were originally set up to provide same-day urgent care services for minor illnesses, minor infections, minor cuts and sprains. However, local services have improved recently and people now have access to:

  • Improved access GP appointments – local GPs are working together to offer patients more appointments. This means you can now see a GP, practice nurse or another health professional at a time that is more convenient for you, in the evenings, weekends and on bank holidays. The improved access service offers an average of 1,900 appointments a month in the EHS CCG area – over and above those offered as part of ‘normal’ GP hours – so local people now have access to more GP appointments. To find out more just ask at your local GP surgery.

  • NHS 111 – available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, NHS 111 has fully trained call handlers including health care experts who can review people’s symptoms right there and then. Soon the health care experts that take the calls will be able to access your healthcare records and be able to book you an appointment with an appropriate health professional should you need to see someone.

  • We now have Urgent Treatment Centres at the Eastbourne District General Hospital and at the Conquest Hospital in Hastings. Our Urgent Treatment Centres are open for at least 12 hours a day, every day of the week (including bank holidays). They offer a walk-in service, and from Spring 2020 you can be booked into the Urgent Treatment Centres by NHS111. The purpose of Urgent Treatment Centres is to diagnose and treat those patients attending A&E who have a minor injury or illness, such as, sprains and strains, suspected broken limbs, ear and throat infections, and feverish illness in adults and children that really need to be seen on the same day.

The walk-in service at Eastbourne Station Health Centre

We looked at why people were using the walk-in service at Eastbourne Station Health Centre. We looked at four different days in 2018, including weekdays, weekends and Bank Holidays. We found that the vast majority of patients needed a prescription (a total of 65%) followed by 21% of patients who received advice on how they could treat the issue themselves. The remaining 14% consisted of referrals to a pharmacy, their own GP, or another service, with a small number receiving treatment on site.

This showed that people are using the walk-in service for non-urgent primary care health issues that could be dealt with by other services nearby in the town centre, for example:

  • Other GP surgeries in the town centre, who offer appointments in the evenings, at weekends and on bank holidays for locally registered patients.

  • Community pharmacies.

  • Other services including those for people with mental health issues, drug and alcohol services and services for homeless people.

Also, between June-August 2019, we engaged with local people to gather their experiences of, and feedback on, the walk-in services at Eastbourne Station Health Centre and the other healthcare services they might use. We also conducted a survey, online and face-to-face, which took place from 16-31 August 2019.

The NHS is committed to providing the best value for taxpayers’ money and one way to do this is to avoid duplicating services already available in the local area. For this reason we are now consulting on a proposal to close Eastbourne Station Health Centre.

If, following consultation, a decision is taken to close the Eastbourne Station Health Centre, we would use existing funding from the walk-in service to invest in other local health services to support the community.

What’s next?

This is your opportunity to tell us what you think. The feedback you give us will then be considered, along with all of the evidence collected so far, before a decision is made. You can take part in a number of ways, which are listed at the top of this page.

Opinion Research Services Ltd. (ORS) has been appointed by the CCG to manage the consultation feedback and questionnaire responses and to faithfully report the outcomes. ORS will produce a comprehensive independent report of the findings for the NHS Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford CCG governing body to consider before any decisions are made about the future of the Eastbourne Station Health Centre.”