Health leaders have joined forces to reassure worried residents of Thurrock of the future of health services in the borough after plans to close a local hospital.
Orsett Hospital is set to close following a decision by the joint committee of the five Clinical Commissioning Groups, CCGs, last month.
The committee has decided to relocate the services provided at Orsett Hospital to four new integrated medical centres in Purfleet, Corringham, Tilbury and Grays.
Orsett Hospital is set for closure once the new centres are up and running and the medical services have been moved across.
The Orsett site, while much loved, is seen by many as outdated. Its closure will allow the opening of more modern medical facilities that will benefit the community.
Mandy Ansell, Accountable Officer at Thurrock CCG said: “The closure will not happen overnight and we now want to work with people who use the service so that they can oversee the plans. It will take at least another two to three years to ensure the Integrated Medical Centres are built to the right specifications.
“Our first point is that all Thurrock services will be re-positioned within the Integrated Medical Centres and no services for Thurrock people will be lost.”
Despite this, much of the local community has expressed concerns over the hospital’s proposed closure.
Jackie Doyle-Price, MP for Thurrock said: “I understand that many people will be anxious about the decision to close Orsett Hospital.
“I cannot emphasise strongly enough that all NHS providers have pledged that they will continue to run their services at Orsett until they are able to relocate them in the new facilities.”
Tom Abell, Deputy Chief Executive of Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “This decision is good news. Local residents will soon have more modern health and care services closer to where they live.
“This means more investment in the services people use the most.
“We also want to make it absolutely clear that services will not stop at Orsett Hospital until all the new services are up and running.”