Venue: Committee Room 2, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL. View directions
Contact: Jenny Shade, Senior Democratic Services Officer Email: Direct.Democracy@thurrock.gov.uk
To receive additional items that the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency, in accordance with Section 100B (4) (b) of the Local Government Act 1972.
No matters of urgent business were received.
Declarations of Interests
No interests were declared.
The Chair read out the following statement:
“One item on the agenda this evening which was to formalise the decision from the committee’s last meeting to refer the STP plan to the Secretary of State on two grounds. The closure of Orsett Hospital was not in the interests of health services in Thurrock and the consultation process which resulted in the decision to close the hospital was not adequate.
As a committee we have continued to worry about these issues in particular. Having discussed the plan over many months it had become inevitable that in order to properly ensure the interests of Thurrock residents and the future of the right health services we should refer the decision for further scrutiny to the Secretary of State.
I believe it was important that as a committee, indeed cross party as a Council we wholeheartedly support four new Integrated Medical Centres. We want new health centres and facilities to support the health needs of our residents. This was not a question.
We know both Councillors and Officers however that at the moment these centres do not exist. We know that building these centres involve a number of partners to agree, a number of planning issues to be resolved, ultimately many elements falling into place all at the same time. It may be that every single element of the very long to do list that needs to be in place to ensure four centres come through. But it would be irresponsible of us as Councillors not to think about what happens if all of these centres are not built. This was not explained to residents in the consultation. They believe all of them will be built without question however sadly we have experienced here in Thurrock of promises of new health facilities which progress well until they are pulled at the last minute. In the meantime, Orsett Hospital will slowly be shutting down and what happens to services in the hospital when there are not four centres to put them in.
The decision to close Orsett Hospital was one not only based on the consideration of the development of health facilities in the area. The underlying reason was a lack of investment which meant Orsett Hospital was not up to the standards we want in a hospital. The Deputy Chief Executive of BTUH had acknowledged the lack of money to this committee when he explained the hospital must close. How can a decision be based on this reason be to the benefit of health services for Thurrock residents.
Over the years, for some Councillors and months for others, the concerns about the consultation have been raised regularly. There have been a number of minutes reflecting these concerns. Sadly they have not all been included in the pack. Councillor Redsell I remember you particularly raising concern regarding a meeting in your ward that you did not know about. You were rightly concerned about how widely the notice the meeting had been circulated. In additional HealthWatch ... view the full minutes text for item 37.