The Health Secretary has endorsed the advice of an independent panel after it concluded that the planned changes to hospital services in Mid and South Essex can go ahead.
The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, has agreed with the findings of the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP) that the plans developed by the Mid and South Essex Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) are "in the interests of health services locally".
Dr Anita Donley OBE, Independent Chair of the STP, said:
“I am absolutely delighted with the recommendation of the Independent Reconfiguration Panel and decision of the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. This is a recognition of the hard work by all partners in our STP and an endorsement of the clinically-led plans to improve services and outcomes for our population of 1.2 million people living in mid and south Essex.”
Clare Panniker, Chief Executive of the Mid and South Essex University Hospitals Group, said:
"Our plan to reconfigure hospital services will improve care and outcomes for over 1.2 million people who live in mid and south Essex, so I am delighted that the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has been advised that we should press ahead with our plans to reconfigure our services.
"We know that making the changes set out in our plans will improve patient outcomes and help us achieve compliance with national service standards. Therefore we are very pleased that the Independent Reconfiguration Panel has recommended that the Secretary of State endorses our proposals and, whilst we await the final decision of the Secretary of State on the advice received, we continue to plan for implementation of our first stage of changes this autumn with confidence.
"We believe this advice is an endorsement of the excellent work of our staff from every discipline over the past years in designing and assuring new sustainable and high quality clinical services for the people of mid and south Essex.
"We are on track to deliver phase one of the reconfiguration this autumn:
- Consolidation of emergency vascular surgery at Basildon Hospital from both Broomfield and Southend Hospitals.
- Transfer of spinal surgery from Basildon Hospital to Southend Hospital.
- Offering patients at Basildon and Southend hospitals waiting for a hip or knee operation the option of being treated at Braintree Community Hospital so that they can be seen more quickly.
- Emergency out-of-hours interventional radiology services to be consolidated at a hub based at Basildon Hospital.
"We are also expecting to merge our three Trusts next year. It will put us amongst the biggest NHS organisations in the country, meaning more support for staff, a stronger financial position and excellent outcomes for patients."