Brighton comedian Terry Garoghan talked about the last bus to Whitehawk. Now health chiefs are getting in on the act.
The Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group uses the No 1 between Mile Oak and Whitehawk to highlight the gap in life expectancy across Brighton and Hove.
The gap is more than five years between different parts of the route with those in Mile Oak expected to live, on average, for 80.9 years.
The typical lifespan drops to 78.6 years in South Portslade and is 77.4 years in Whitehawk. It reaches its lowest in Brighton town centre at 75.4 years.
The clinical commissioning group (CCG) wants to tackle the inequalities that lie behind these figures.
The CCG chairman Dr Xavier Nalletamby and accountable officer Dr Christa Beesley spoke about their hopes and plans at Brighton Town Hall last week.
The CCG has a key role in the government’s NHS reforms. From April it will replace NHS Sussex, the primary care trust (PCT) which allocates hundreds of millions of pounds of spending on health services in Brighton and Hove.
About £36 million of the budget of about £400 million will be spent among the 47 GP surgeries in the city.
Admin costs are under pressure from the government but are still expected to total about £8 million a year. Mental health services will cost about £50 million.
These are rough numbers at this stage.
The government’s intention was to put spending decisions in the hands of family doctors. They will provide oversight and clinical leadership. But in reality the day-to-day decisions will be in the hands of administrators.
The CCG has taken on many of the people who worked in admin and support roles for the primary care trust.
A report to the NHS Sussex board meeting at Hove Town Hall today (Tuesday 22 January) said that the majority had found jobs in new organisations.
Another report to the NHS Sussex board today highlighted one of the perennial challenges facing the outgoing PCTs and their successors – how to stick to budgets.
The financial report flags up two critical areas of overspending locally.
One is emergency care brought about in part because more people than expected turn up at the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department at the Royal Sussex.
And the other is spending on mental health care. There is a drive towards caring for more mental health patients at home or in the community.
Again, many of those patients turn up at A&E when there seems to be nowhere else to go.
The doctors overseeing the new CCG will have to wrestle with these challenges and many others.
The board is next due to meet on Tuesday 19 March and less than a fortnight later it will take over from the PCT.
Plenty of people, whatever bus route they live near, will be keen to see what the CCG prescribes.