Health and care organisations consider proposals for consultation
15 November 2017
Health and care organisations in partnership across mid and south Essex are considering proposals for public consultation at the end of this month on proposals for change in some hospital services.
Subject to the approval of the Joint Committee of clinical
commissioning groups (CCGs) in mid and south Essex, the proposed
changes would happen over the next two to five years. They form
part of a plan to prepare for a continuing rise in the number of
people who need health and care. These proposals build on the
benefits from Southend, Broomfield and Basildon hospitals working
together as one group to make the most of clinical talent, new
treatments and technology and achieve better outcomes and quality
of care for patients.
Feedback from the consultation will be considered by the Joint
Committee in May 2018.
Proposed consultation to be approved by CCG Joint
A Joint Committee of leading GPs that represents all five
clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in mid and south Essex is due
to consider the final pre-consultation business case and proposed
consultation at its public meeting on 29 November. If the Joint
Committee approves the case, a consultation document and other
background information will follow and local people will have a
period of 14 weeks to give their views.
Mid and South Essex Sustainability and Transformation
The proposals come from the partnership between all NHS
organisations and the three local authorities that provide social
care in mid and south Essex. Known as the Mid and South Essex
Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP), this is one of
44 STPs in England. The area involved covers Braintree, Maldon and
Chelmsford in mid Essex; and Southend, Castle Point and Rochford,
Basildon, Brentwood and Thurrock in south Essex.
Proposals developed with views from local
The STP's proposals have been developed by clinicians and
discussed widely in public over the last 18 months.
The latest proposals, which were influenced by the views of
local people, would mean that people would continue to have access
to A&E, tests, outpatients, day case surgery and maternity
services as they do now at their local hospital, alongside critical
care and the vast majority of overnight emergency care. In a small
number of cases some emergency and planned patients may be
transferred to new specialist centres with greater consultant
cover. These proposals are based on clinical evidence and best
practice from elsewhere across the country.
- Just under 1,000 people a day currently
attend the three A&E departments on average
- It is estimated that around 15 patients a day
would transfer to another hospital for specialist emergency care as
a result of the proposals for change.
Proposals for stroke care
One example of a specialist service is stroke care, where the
proposal is to establish a specialist centre, known as a
"hyper-acute stroke unit (HASU)" in addition to the existing stroke
care services at all three hospitals.
CT scans and the start of treatment for a stroke would be
available at the nearest hospital. If patients were diagnosed as
having had a stroke they would be transferred to the proposed new
specialist HASU for up to 72 hours of high dependency care and
rehabilitation, before being transferred back to their local
hospital, or home with further care and support.
A collaboration across the three hospitals would maximise skills
to treat people in the crucial first 72 hours and create a strong
network of stroke services across the three hospitals with links to
other stroke specialists working in the community.
Evidence from other areas in the country that have already
established a hyper-acute stroke unit (HASU) is that patients who
are treated in the HASU benefit from higher chances of survival and
Proposals to cover a range of specialist
The proposals will emphasise that all three main hospitals in
Southend, Chelmsford and Basildon are equally important for
providing hospital care in the future for their local
Each hospital also has a range of different specialist
expertise, such as the radiotherapy and cancer centre at Southend,
the specialist centre for burns and plastic surgery at Broomfield
Hospital near Chelmsford and the Essex Cardiothoracic Centre in
Working together as one group, it is proposed that the hospitals
build on their existing expertise and offer other specialist
surgery and treatments that require a hospital stay.
The proposed new services would work across all three hospitals
and guarantee a full team of specialist doctors, nurses and
technicians available round the clock, which is not always the case
currently at all three sites.
Dr Celia Skinner, Chief Medical Officer for all three
"Our proposals aim to bring together some specialist services,
for the times where, once or twice in our lives, we need very
specialist emergency care or a planned overnight operation.
"We estimate the proposed new arrangements would mean that
around 15 emergency patients and 15 planned operations per day
would be go to a different hospital for a few days; but the benefit
is that a larger team would be able to provide immediate specialist
treatment and help you to make a quick recovery."
"All our A&Es would continue to receive ambulances and
remain open to walk in patients. Patients would continue to have
their tests, outpatient appointments, day case operations and
maternity services at their local hospital, the same as they do
today, alongside general emergency care beds and critical care
Dr Caroline Dollery, local GP and Clinical Chair of Mid
Essex CCG said:
"We all want the very best health and care for people. While
there are examples of excellent care, it is very difficult to
achieve ever-increasing standards with consistency across our three
hospitals. It makes complete sense for the hospitals to work
together in some of the very specialist types of services.
"At the same time, we are looking at how we can develop our GP,
community services, mental health and social care to help people
stay well and out of hospital.
"The CCG Joint Committee is keen to hear the views and ideas of
local people on the wider picture as well as the specific proposals
for hospital services."
For further information, contact the Mid and South Essex STP
The STP Joint Committee of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs)
has as its membership the accountable officers and clinical chairs
of all five CCGs in mid and south Essex. It is chaired
independently by Professor Mike Bewick, a retired GP and previously
the deputy medical director of NHS England.