Thurrock Gazette: Healthcare Remaining in Thurrock

I recently met with local NHS leaders for an update on plans for the replacement of facilities at Orsett Hospital at the new medical centres which are being rolled out.

You cannot fail to be impressed by the ambition and leadership being shown by Basildon Hospital, the Thurrock CCG and indeed Thurrock Council.

Not only will the new medical centres replace the old facilities at Orsett, they will also strengthen GP services by having more facilities under one roof.

It will be easier for patients to get referral for other services as they will all be offered in the same place, closer to where people live. The plans for Tilbury have been published and I hope we can press on and deliver it quickly.

So it is disappointing to read letters in the Gazette which suggest that people will die because of the closure of Orsett. It has been said repeatedly that nothing will close at Orsett until the services are offered elsewhere in Thurrock. The key being in Thurrock. It will not mean more patients having to use Basildon Hospital as some continue to suggest.

In any case there are no surgical wards or in-patient beds at Orsett. I know that some political parties are exploiting people’s fears about the planned closure. Shame on them. They should be supporting our local NHS in seeking to provide the best services it can. I firmly believe that the new health centres will deliver a significant improvement in our local health provision. They can’t come quick enough.

09/10/2018 Thurrock Gazette: Healthcare Remaining in Thurrock