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CCGs in mid and south Essex to decide on consultation

The Joint Committee of the five clinical commissioning groups are set to consider proposals for public consultation at the end of this month on the future of health and care services across mid and south Essex.

These proposals are a result of detailed work undertaken by clinical teams across health and care organisations to improve the services provided to the
1.2 million people living in mid and south Essex.

A detailed pre-consultation business case and a plan for a period of public consultation will be considered and have been published in draft (http://bit.ly/2mUdsKq) today (23rd November), ahead of the meeting to be held on the 29th November 2017 in the Marconi Suite, Civic Centre, Duke Street, Chelmsford at 3pm.

The Joint Committee will be asked to give approval to commence consultation on these proposals, which include:

Improvements in A&E at all three hospitals with the development of four new assessment and treatment centres alongside each A&E. All three A&Es will be led by a consultant, open 24 hours a day and will receive “blue light” ambulances. They will be able to treat the majority of cases. It is estimated that the number of patients that would need to transfer from a local A&E to a specialist team in another hospital could be around 14 patients a day.

A new “hyper acute stroke unit” close to the existing cardiothoracic centre in Basildon, which specialises in treatments for serious heart and lung problems. The new unit would provide the highest dependency and intensive care for people that have had a stroke in the first 72 hours following a stroke. This would be in addition to the existing stroke care units at all three hospitals which would remain in place.

Some specialist inpatient care being brought together in one place, where there is existing expertise and to allow for extended hours, seven day a week consultant and specialist cover for these services. This is based clinical evidence that this would improve care and chances of a making a good recovery. Examples include gynaecological surgery at Southend Hospital, urological surgery at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford and surgery for arteries and veins at Basildon Hospital.

Some planned operations being done separately from emergency cases. Some complex operations that need a few days hospital stay could be performed in Southend Hospital for people in south Essex and Braintree Community Hospital for people in mid Essex.

Move community services closer to where people live. For example in Thurrock the proposals outline how services currently provided at Orsett Hospital could be provided in four new “integrated medical centres” and existing community centres in Basildon and Brentwood. Once this has happened it will be possible to close Orsett Hospital which is difficult to access by public transport and needs significant investment to bring up to modern standard.

These changes are alongside the collective intention of health and care services to build up GP and community services and extend the range of professionals and services available via GP practices as part of a bold plan to provide increased care for local communities closer to where they live.

Professor Mike Bewick, independent chair of the CCG Joint Committee, said:

“The Joint Committee will discuss proposals to move to public consultation. If agreed, this will be an important next stage in the work we have been doing together to develop and build a health and care system fit for the future for the people of mid and south Essex and provide them with a further opportunity to give us their views to help shape the proposals.”

If approval is given to proceed, full details of the consultation will be available from www.nhsmidandsouthessex.co.uk.

Feedback from the consultation could then be considered by the Joint Committee in the early summer of 2018 along with clinical evidence, financial plans and other details in a final business case.