Peasmarsh residents are furious that permission has been refused for a satellite GP surgery at the newly refurbished Memorial Hall.
NHS England turned down the application on the grounds that ‘conditions were not satisfactory’ despite the hall recently scooping a major award in recognition of its services.
The hall received a Sussex Heritage Community Award for ‘a new project which improves facilities in the community’.
Now nearly a thousand people have signed a petition calling for a surgery and both local MP’s Amber Rudd and Greg Barker have become involved in the ongoing row.
Peasmarsh councillor David Pankhurst said: “This has been refused despite the Care Quality Commission in November 2013 stating that The Peasmarsh Memorial Hall was satisfactory.
“The Peasmarsh Memorial Hall Committee and The Rye Medical Centre are both angered and puzzled by this decision.
“NHS England has offered no explanation as to how it reached its conclusion and has never approached either of them to request an inspection of the hall facilities
“The Rye Medical Centre, which already successfully runs satellite surgeries in Brede, Camber and Ickelsham, is appealing against the decision but has only been given until August 10 by NHS England to do so.
“We manage to collect 700 signatures on our petition outside Jempson’s last Thursday and Friday and hope to collect more this week.
“We have also received a letter from Amber Rudd who has written to the head of NHS England requesting a response to the concerns we have raised and Greg Barker has also written to Jeremy Hunt asking for clear reasons as to why the hall was deemed unsuitable and requesting an extension to the deadline .”
One of the important aims of the successful lottery bid to refurbish the hall was provision for a satellite doctor’s surgery.
Cllr Pankhurst says the decision is exacerbated by the imminent cut in the bus timetable from an hourly to a two hourly service which will increase difficulties experienced by the elderly and those without their own transport accessing medical services.
Cllr Pankhrst said: “This decision does not bode well for other communities who are trying to provide cost effective and meaningful support at a local level. It is somewhat ironic that the provision of this satellite surgery would not only fulfil a much needed service to a rural community but would be supplied at no extra cost to the NHS and may even result in cost savings by enabling people early easier access to medical treatment, which in turn may result in less need for long term hospital stays
There is an e-petition online which anyone is allowed to sign it regardless of where they live in the UK. You can sign at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/67815 or http://peasmarshmh.btck.co.uk/.