The Your Care in the Best Place consultation currently taking place across mid and south Essex has been extended with responses now being accepted up to and including Friday March 23 2018.
The consultation was launched on 30 November 2018 following approval from the Joint Committee of the five Clinical Commissioning Groups and had been due to close on March 9 2018.
The decision to allow a further two weeks to receive responses comes following feedback from the public and stakeholders that more time to formulate responses would be helpful for those attending planned consultation activities in the final week.
The consultation is seeking responses to outline plans for the future of health and care services, in particular specialist care services provided by the three main hospitals.
The 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 and include:
- Making improvements in A&E at all three hospitals with the development of 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.
- Develop a new specialist stroke centre which would provide the highest dependency and intensive care for people in the first 72 hours following a stroke alongside rapid access to diagnostics and specialist interventions. This would be in addition to the existing stroke care units at all three hospitals which would remain in place.
- Bring together in one place some specialist inpatient care where there is existing expertise and to allow for extended hours, seven day a week consultant and specialist cover for these services. Clinical evidence from elsewhere shows that this would improve care and the chances of a making a good recovery.
- Separate some planned operations from emergency cases. Some complex orthopaedic 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. This would reduce cancelled operations and rates of infection by separating this type of care from emergency care.
- Moving community services closer to where people live. We are consulting for example on how services currently provided at Orsett Hospital could be provided in four new “integrated medical centres” in Thurrock and existing and new facilities across Basildon and Brentwood.
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 public consultation is an important part of the work we have been doing to develop and build a health and care system fit for the future for the people of mid and south Essex and provide the public a further opportunity to help shape the proposals.
“No final decision has been taken to implement any of the changes described, which can only happen after the consultation with our local communities has finished and the feedback independently analysed, so please do take this extended opportunity to have your say.”
Full details of the proposals and the ways in which people can get involved are available at www.nhsmidandsouthessex.co.uk
Feedback from the consultation will undergo independent review and be collated into a report to be published in early May.
The independent feedback report along with clinical evidence, financial plans and other details in a final business case will then be considered by the Joint Committee in the early summer of 2018 as part of the final decision making process.
Implementation of any changes agreed could then begin in the autumn of 2018 and would take place over a number of years to ensure any new models of care were introduced safely and effectively.