Agenda and minutes

Orsett Hospital Task & Finish Group - Wednesday, 7th November, 2018 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL. View directions

Contact: Jenny Shade, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Email:

No. Item


Appointment of Chair


The Democratic Services Officer outlined the process for the nomination and election of Chair and Vice-Chair.


Councillor J Kent nominated Councillor Holloway as Chair. Members agreed to this nomination.




Councillor Holloway was appointed as Chair of the Orsett Hospital Task and Finish Group.



Appointment of Vice Chair


Councillor J Kent nominated Councillor Spillman as Vice Chair. Members agreed to this nomination.




Councillor Spillman was appointed as Vice Chair of the Orsett Hospital Task and Finish Group.


Purpose of Committee


Members were referred to the aim of the Orsett Hospital Task and Finish Group which were to scrutinise the current proposed closure process of Orsett Hospital to include the proposed transfer of services, the timings and the operational position of the integrated medical centres and to have a clear focus on the future of Orsett Hospital and to address alternative proposals.


Urgent Items of Business

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.


There were no items of urgent business.


Declaration of Interests


Councillors Holloway, Rigby and Redsell declared a non-pecuniary interest as they were members of the Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee.


Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 49 KB


Members agreed to the Orsett Hospital Task and Finish Group Terms of Reference as set out in the agenda.


Information Pack pdf icon PDF 299 KB

Background and current information such as reports from Overview and Scrutiny and Cabinet Committees, Orsett Hospital, the Integrated Medical Centres, press articles and case studies.

Additional documents:


Members were referred to the background and current information such as reports from Overview and Scrutiny Committees, information on Orsett Hospital services and the proposed Integrated Medical Centres, press articles and case studies.


Councillor J Kent stated the information pack was useful and very comprehensive and was pleased to see that site visits would be arranged. Councillor J Kent stated that it was disappointing that no NHS representatives were present to answer Members questions and that Member’s disappointment should be minuted.


Councillor Holloway echoed Councillor J Kent’s comments and stated that input from NHS representatives was vital and stated her disappointment with the lack of NHS presence.


Roger Harris stated that Tom Abel and Mandy Ansell were both formally invited and a position statement had been provided and tabled for Members information.


Councillor Spillman stated that NHS representatives had to be held to account with regards to the bold statements that the NHS were making.


Councillor Holloway stated that there was cross party support for the integrated medical centres but a reassurance on the closure of Orsett Hospital was needed so that Members can then assure residents. More information was needed on the thought process and the rational of closing of Orsett Hospital so that Members can be reassured and then reassure residents.


Councillor Redsell stated that to retain resident support and confidence in the new integrated medical centres it was vital that information was forthcoming and to ensure the integrated medical centres had the services resident’s need.


Councillor Holloway asked what options had been considered for keeping Orsett Hospital open and had improving the transport links been considered.


Councillor Redsell as a member of the Bus User Group stated that the bus companies were getting involved and that conversations were taking place.


Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) Update


Members received a NHS briefing note on the impact of the Southend on Sea Council’s referral to the Secretary of State on the STP.


Roger Harris, Corporate Director of Adults, Housing and Health updated Members with the following background information on the STP.


           On 6 July 2018 the Joint Committee of the five Clinical Commissioning Groups across mid and south Essex agreed to 19 recommendations which included the recommendation to close Orsett Hospital.

           It had been agreed that Orsett Hospital would not close until all integrated medical centres were up and running.

           That no clinical services would be moved out of Thurrock.

           On the 9 October 2018, Southend Council agreed to refer the STP to the Secretary of State with regard to the stroke services and the consultation process.

           With this in effect not everything had stopped with the planning and preparation work would continue.

           NHS would not agree to any decisions until the referral had been resolved.

           It was unclear whether the Secretary of State would squash the consultation completely or agree otherwise.

           Southend Council prepared a letter to the Secretary of State setting out the formal reasons why the consultation and stroke services were inadequate and demonstrate that a comprise had been made locally.

           The Secretary of State would then send the referral to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel who would consider the matter together with evidence and to seek specialist advice.

           The Independent Reconfiguration Panel would provide advice to the Secretary of State. There are no deadlines for the Secretary of State to make any decisions.


Councillor Holloway requested clarification on what services were going to which integrated medical centre and when these would be moved. Asked whether these services would be moved once an integrated medical centre was built or when all four centres were finished. Clarification on what Orsett Hospital would look like once services start to be moved out. Councillor Holloway requested to see clear plans.


Councillor Spillman asked Roger Harris whether he was concerned about the consultation process. Roger Harris stated that through meetings the Council had shown concern but broadly the process had been robust and the consultation had been extended to ensure everyone got an opportunity to have their say.


Councillor J Kent asked how many referrals had the Secretary of State upheld on. Roger Harris stated that he would have to check this information.


Councillor J Kent questioned Roger Harris on his understanding on what the impact of the referral would be. Roger Harris stated that was more of a question for the NHS to provide a response and stated this would be an opportunity to consolidate some clinical services, recruit primary care staff in centres of excellence and the clinical services provided would be more robust.


Councillor J Kent questioned whether there would be any problems with recruiting staff. Roger Harris stated that the new centres of excellence would provide an opportunity to recruit the specialist and associated staff.


Councillor  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


Dates for Next Meeting


Democratic Services will look at the municipal calendar for dates.


Members agreed that NHS representatives should again be formally invited to attend.


Next Steps


Democratic Services will look for available dates in the municipal calendar and invitations to attend will be sent to NHS representatives.


Democratic Services will arrange a site visit to Orsett Hospital in the New Year.