Statement on developing model of health care in Horsham ‘one of worst ever seen’

Broadbridge Heath Neighbourhood Centre from Countryside's planning application. SUS-160302-163221001
Broadbridge Heath Neighbourhood Centre from Countryside's planning application. SUS-160302-163221001

An update on the future of doctors’ surgeries in the Horsham area has been branded ‘incredibly bland’ by the leader of the council’s Lib Dems.

A new neighbourhood centre for Broadbridge Heath, which includes new retail units, a parish office, and children’s nursery, was approved by Horsham District Council’s Development Control North Committee on Tuesday.

It will be built south of the A264 opposite the existing village centre recreation ground.

The neighbourhood centre did originally include a health care facility but this was removed after Horsham and Mid Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) informed the developer that there was no desire for a GP practice at Wickhurst Green.

The CCG’s representation explained that a surgery of such a small size would ‘not be sustainable’, it was ‘developing model of care’ for the whole of Horsham, and asked for a financial contribution instead.

Leonard Crosbie (LDem, Trafalgar) said they had been waiting patiently for the model of care to appear.

He added: “These generalities have been floating around for some time.”

David Skipp (LDem, Horsham Park), leader of the Lib Dem group at HDC, said it was ‘one of the worst statements he had ever seen’, and added: “I found that statement incredibly bland, it said nothing about what is proposed.”

He continued: “I’m very concerned we have got no health facilities in Broadbridge Heath.”

While it is NHS England’s responsibility to commission primary health care such as GP provision, the CCG has been consulting the public over the future of NHS facilities across Horsham, Crawley and Mid Sussex.

Broadbridge Heath Parish Council’s Geoff Clark raised concerns over a lack of outdoor storage and the fact that the office space allocated to it was ‘not fit for purpose’. They had hoped for space on the ground floor and a larger entry area, and he called for measures to stop rat-running through the centre’s car park.

Officers explained that the A264 had to be downgraded prior to the occupation of the neighbourhood centre’s units.

Matthew French (Con, Broadbidge Heath) said he shared some of the parishes concerns, but added: “Overall I think it’s a good scheme and it will be of great value to the area.”

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