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Plans are underway to improve hospital care

17 June 2019

Health Care

The three NHS trusts which provide hospital care in Southend, Basildon and mid Essex are merging to create one organisation. In a major consultation it was agreed by the public and other organisations that there are real benefits in bringing together specialist services providing 24/7 expert care.

The three NHS trusts which provide hospital care in Southend, Basildon and mid Essex are merging to create one organisation. In a major consultation it was agreed by the public and other organisations that there are real benefits in bringing together specialist services providing 24/7 expert care. Since then, Mid and South Essex Hospitals Group has been putting plans in place to bring about those improvements for patients.

Southend and Thurrock Councils referred the plans to bring services together to the Secretary of State, and he has now asked the Independent Reconfiguration Panel to give initial advice on these changes.

Chief Executive Clare Panniker said:

"We have always maintained that our plans are the right thing for our patients, but recognise that there has been concern expressed by two of our local authorities.  This has been frustrating for our staff who have been unable to deliver the benefits these changes will bring to our communities.

"Due to the time it takes to bring about service changes, we have decided to continue the mobilisation of our planned first phase changes for vascular, urology, radiology and orthopaedic services. We will then be in the position to implement these changes this autumn to improve care and services for our patients.

"The Board will then look at the detailed plan and make a final decision on implementation in September. "

The first phase of changes will see improvements in vascular, urological, orthopaedic and trauma care.

For example, at the moment a Southend patient needing urgent vascular care could be transferred to Harlow, Broomfield or Basildon for treatment. With a consolidated service, and a dedicated vascular ward with 24/7 consultant cover and specialist staff, they will be able to stay in mid and South Essex for expert care at Basildon Hospital.

Similarly, by creating a centre of excellence for spinal surgery on one site, all of the specialist staff and equipment will be brought together on one site. Clare said: "We know that, as well as ensuring quicker access to a spinal surgeon, that will result in better outcomes for patients."

Clare said:

"We know that these changes will simplify care across our hospitals, and enable us to dramatically improve our patients' experience. Therefore we need to be ready to move forward as soon as possible."