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Angry patients facing the closure of Eaton Place GP practice described the search for a new GP as ‘absolute chaos’ and a ‘mad scramble’ at a public meeting held by Labour's Nancy Platts in December.

Eaton Place GP Practice is expected to close on 28th February 2015 due to the retirement of the current GPs.

The meeting, held as part of the campaign to ‘Replace Eaton Place’ was chaired by Frances McCabe of Healthwatch Brighton and Hove.

At the meeting one couple described how this was the second time they had to move doctors in four years due a previous GP practice closing, again due to retirement.

A female patient, who had been diligently contacting each of the 15 alternative GP practices on the list supplied by NHS England, said: “I spent a full working day going through the list of 15. Two involved two buses and a long walk, two said I lived in the wrong postcode, two had poor NHS ratings and one was no longer there.”

One woman, commenting on the distances people would be expected to travel to get to a new GP said they had been measured ‘as the crow flies’ so to get to some in a short space of time, “You would need a helicopter’.

Others said that when they tried to register at a new surgery they were turned away and told to wait for an ‘open day’ or come back in January or February 2015. This left them feeling very worried about whether they would be able to find a new GP near to their home.
 
Nancy Platts said: “I am horrified at the way people are being treated. The confusion about where responsibility lies for ensuring patients have a local GP is a direct result of the fragmentation of the NHS under this Conservative-led Government.  

"Expecting people from East Brighton to travel half way across town to see their GP or turning them away when they try to register somewhere else is unacceptable. NHS England must get a grip of this situation, there is a clearly a need for a GP surgery in this part of East Brighton and we cannot have over 5,000 people left frantically trying to find a new doctor.”
 
East Brighton Ward Councillor, Warren Morgan said: “We cannot afford to lose a GP surgery in East Brighton and we need to ‘Replace Eaton Place’. 

"I have written to NHS England and this issue will be discussed at the Health and Wellbeing Board next Tuesday. I will continue to fight to keep local GP services for people in my Ward and I will be asking the Board to look urgently at new options for a surgery in the area.”

Many patients also expressed concern that they could no longer register with a particular GP and felt that it was time-wasting and sometimes upsetting to have to keep re-explaining their medical condition.

One man with mental health issues said that having a one-to-one relationship with a doctor was very important to him and was worried that he might have to see a different GP each time.

Labour Council Candidate and Eaton Place patient Maggie Barradell led the call for people to go with her, Cllr Gill Mitchell and Nancy Platts to the Health and Wellbeing Board next week to make their views known.  They are urging people to join them and will be gathering at 3pm outside Hove Town Hall on Tuesday 9th December.

The petition to ‘Replace Eaton Place’ can be found at http://www.nancyplatts.org.uk/replaceeatonplacegp or you can follow the campaign on Twitter with hashtag #replaceeatonplaceGP
 

Nancy Platts Hears How Finding a New GP is ‘Absolute Chaos’ in Brighton Kemptown

Angry patients facing the closure of Eaton Place GP practice described the search for a new GP as ‘absolute chaos’ and a ‘mad scramble’ at a public meeting held by...

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Labour's Victoria Groulef is calling for environmental charities and experts to be involved in discussions about how Oak Processionary Moth (OPM) will be tackled locally over the coming year.

For the past two years woodland near Pangbourne has been sprayed aerially from helicopters to eradicate the non-native OPM. A copse - which has special scientific interest status due to its rare butterfly and moth population – was also sprayed.
 
The Forestry Commission has come under extensive criticism from environmental experts and charities who have said that the pesticide used has had a damaging impact on the local environment.
 
Many experts have claimed that spot spraying rather than aerial spraying would be just as effective at eradicating OPM but would be less damaging to the wider environment.
 
Over the past two years Victoria, the parliamentary candidate in Reading West, has been calling for greater transparency on how OPM is tackled as well as calling for greater public consultation and information.
 
Victoria said: "It is at this time of year the Forestry Commission starts to examine if they will repeat the spraying in the spring. This takes into account the number of male Oak Processionary Moths found in pheromone traps towards the end of the previous summer.
 
"I am calling on the Forestry commission to take into consideration the research and views of environmental charities and their experts.  Ideally some of the experts should be invited to sit on the OPM panel which makes recommendations on what action should take place to eradicate this non-native pest.
 
“If they do plan to spray again next year, now would also be a good time to have a series of public meetings so that local people can be informed of the rationale behind any decision."

Ends.

Charities & Experts Need To Have Their Say On Damaging Moth Spraying, says Labour's Victoria Groulef

Labour's Victoria Groulef is calling for environmental charities and experts to be involved in discussions about how Oak Processionary Moth (OPM) will be tackled locally over the coming year.

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Labour’s Chair of General Election Strategy and Shadow Foreign Secretary, Douglas Alexander MP, joined the campaign trail in Rochester and Strood to show his support for Naushabah Khan on November 4th.

Douglas Alexander went to Rochester East and spoke to local residents about their concerns.

Earlier in the day, Dan Jarvis MP, decorated military veteran and Labour Shadow Minister for Justice, visited servicemen and women living around Brompton Barracks.

Dan is also writing to them, setting out Labour’s promises for our brave Armed Forces and why he’s supporting Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate, Naushabah Khan.

Naushabah has her own personal connection to the army – her family first came to the area to work in the Chatham Dockyard and her mum works in a civilian role in the barracks. Her mum was recently given an award for hard work, dedication and exemplary service by the Corps of Royal Engineers.

Rochester and Strood has a rich military history, with the Chatham Dockyard at one point the biggest employer in Medway and Naushabah is keen to recognise that. That’s why she promised last week to back Labour’s plans to enshrine the Military Covenant in the NHS Constitution.


Dan Jarvis MP, Shadow Minister for Justice, is to write the following letter to servicemen and women living around Brompton Barracks:
 
I am writing to you because I hope we share an interest in supporting our Armed Forces and their families and those veterans who have bravely served our country.

I spent 15 years in the British Army before I become a Labour MP, serving in Iraq, in Afghanistan and in other conflicts around the world. I'm deeply proud of our Armed Forces and I know that Naushabah Khan – Labour's Candidate in the by-election here in Rochester and Strood – shares that pride, not least because her mother works for the MoD in Brompton.

Naushabah is committed to standing up for our Armed Forces and I know if she's elected she will work tirelessly to make sure your voice is heard in Parliament. She was born and brought up in Rochester, too, so she knows the important role the Royal Engineers have played – and continue to play – in the area.

She understands the incredible contribution that our Armed Forces make to our country, and the importance of making sure they have the equipment and resources they need to defend us from the threats we face in the modern world. That’s why Labour will make sure the next Defence and Security Review that will be strategically led and financially responsible. And we will ensure an open and inclusive debate on defence and security issues in advance of it, to ensure that your voice is heard.

Naushabah recognises the importance of supporting our Armed Forces families; the service charities and the Royal British Legion, who all make such an important contribution.

Labour believes that servicemen and women should be treated with the respect their service deserves, and that's why we will change the law so that for the first time ever it would be a specific criminal offence to attack members of our Armed Forces. Naushabah is a strong supporter of our Veterans, those who have served our country in the past. Many veterans prosper after leaving the services, but we all know there are some who struggle to make the transition to civilian life. We must do everything we can to support those people. That’s why Labour will introduce a Veterans Interview Programme to help service leavers get in to work. And we will create a Veterans Register to ensure our veterans receive proper support on leaving service.

Over the next few weeks you're going to hear a lot about the different candidates in the forthcoming by-election. I want you to know that Naushabah Khan is a very impressive young woman. If she is elected, she will stand up for those who serve, for those who have served, and she will stand up for you.

Naushabah would be a brilliant champion for the people of Rochester and Strood and I hope you will consider giving her the opportunity to serve you in Parliament.

Thank you for reading this letter.

Best wishes,

Dan Jarvis MP

DOUGLAS ALEXANDER AND ARMY VETERAN DAN JARVIS MP SUPPORT NAUSHABAH'S CAMPAIGN

Labour’s Chair of General Election Strategy and Shadow Foreign Secretary, Douglas Alexander MP, joined the campaign trail in Rochester and Strood to show his support for Naushabah Khan on November...

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