PLANS to consolidate GP services from East Preston and Littlehampton to Wick were unveiled at a public exhibition this week.
On Monday, the NHS Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) held an exhibition at Littlehampton Town Council’s new millennium chamber.
On display were plans to move GP surgeries from East Preston and East Street, Littlehampton, to new facilities at the Morrisons site in Courtwick Lane, Wick.
The proposals form phase one of a two-phase plan looking at primary care provision in Littlehampton.
If the plans are given the go-ahead, the new surgery could open at the end of 2015.
The CCG said new premises could also allow it to explore new services in response to patients’ demands and bring care ‘closer to home’.
However, there were no details of phase two at the exhibition – the long-awaited replacement for Littlehampton Hospital.
The CCG said it was still working on plans, but a planning application was unlikely to be submitted before late March.
Making the case for the surgeries’ relocation, the CCG said there was an ‘urgent need’ for the Arun Medical Group to find new premises.
This was necessary, it said, to serve the exisiting practice population as well as new people moving to the north of Littlehampton as a result of new housing developments.
It said Courtwick Lane in Wick had been the only feasible option.
Speaking about public reaction to the exhibition, Morven Banks, business strategy manager at Arun Medical Group, said: “Today has been held to allow our patients from Littlehampton and East Preston to see what the potential future is and for them to raise concerns about it. These plans are about future-proofing the service, because our current buildings need investment and it makes more sense for us to meet our future needs in modern practices.”
Dr James Walsh, a town, district and county councillor, said an opportunity had been missed by not mentioning anything about phase two.
Peter Evans, a county councillor in the East Preston, Ferring and Kingston division, welcomed the plans.
He said: “I welcome the move to the north of Littlehampton. It’s a growth area which needs additional support. The plans look good but we need to see the numbers behind them.”