Anthony Mckeever thanked Members for inviting him to this evening’s committee and provided members with an update. He thanked Councillor Mayes for alerting him that this needed to be kept on top of and that every particular had to be right and nailed down. Also thanked and was grateful to Councillor Halden for being involved in all the matters affecting the integrated care system and had continued to brief him and Councillor Mayes on ongoing discussions. Officers in financial departments had explored a range of specific solutions to particular aspects of the complex building schemes and there were two initiatives that would address the remaining aspects of those schemes that they were trying to nail down. Councillor Mayes had been written to outlining the issues that had been submitted to the finance group around the complexities that needed to be brought together such as the contaminated site, flood plain and parking.
Due to technical issues the meeting was paused for four minutes.
Anthony Mckeever continued by stating the two ideas being explored fell into two different camps. The first was technical, such as the period of which a scheme was costed and charged against, looking at discounted cashflow, the most common standard in councils would be towards 60 years that would essentially affect the monthly rental charges. The second was around the concern around the burden on design fees. Anthony Mckeever stated he had been looking at how the NHS could address the concerns of the costs the council had incurred and how to assist with them through funding from the NHS. Anthony Mckeever stated the gap was being closed, with a clear and shared rational but what needed to be done was to keep a close eye on valued engineering of the schemes. All were committed to making this happen as quickly as possible to ensure the right results for residents. The services of an experienced and capable programme manager had been offered who would be in-situ on the programme board who would act on behalf of Anthony Mckeever at all times and make sure all NHS Partners coordinated all their separate elements of the scheme and therefore accounted for the finances.
Councillor Mayes gave thanks to Anthony Mckeever and his team for pushing this item forward and to get this finished.
In attendance on MST for this item – Carmel Micheals, Katie Arnold, Hannah Coffey, Diane Sarkar, Rahul Chaudhari and Martin Mizen
A PowerPoint was presented on the Thurrock Integrated Medica Centre Update which can be found from the following link:
Councillor Ralph thanked all for the great presentation and referred to the 50 hot desks at the Corringham IMC and questioned whether this was an addition to the plans to which he was informed these were part of the original plan. Councillor Ralph stated he had not seen sight of the travel plan as yet to which Martin Mizen stated there would be controlled parking with no charging facilities on site. Staff and visitors would need to register their vehicles when on site and some negotiations still needed to be had on how this would work. A travel plan had been undertaken and approved as part of the planning consent in July 2021 which had looked at parking on site, green travel, cycle and bus routes but would now need to be revisited now the site was due to open. Councillor Ralph stated this travel plan had not been approved by the council as they had been informed it had been withdrawn. He had concerns on staff using the 50 hot desks where they would park and this could cause a massive problem. Martin Mizen stated the travel plan needed to be reviewed and resubmitted. Councillor Ralph also had concerns how residents using the bus service from Fobbing would be able to access the services as the bus ran only once an hour to which Martin Mizen agreed this could be investigated as part of the travel plan.
Councillor Piccolo questioned once the integrated medical centre was up and running whether any services that were relevant to health and wellbeing could take advantage of any available space on the site which could provide additional income and potentially use the space more permanently. Martin Mizen stated this could be reviewed after the first three months and referred Members to the group spaces where this facility would be available through the weekends and to ensure facilities were being used to their full potential. Mark Tebbs stated the ethos behind the integrated medical centres was around integrated care and prevention and for there to be the opportunity to have health and wellbeing facilities on site.
Councillor Ralph stated how exciting this was and the services being provided would be a positive experience for residents and would like to see mental health support services in each of the centres.
Councillor Holloway thanked Anthony Mckeever and those presenting this evening and thanked Mark Tebbs, Ian Wake and the team who had continued to push forward this very complicated and complex set of projects. Councillor Holloway had concerns the integrated medical centres had been chipped away at, such as the reduction in square footage in Purfleet, the issues in Tilbury that needed to be readjusted and not even having sight of the Grays site. Felt that Thurrock resident’s health was not being considered with the focus not being on patient care. Had concerns how the services from the Orsett Hospital could practically fit into the four integrated medical centres. Referred to Tilbury and questioned what was meant by a “break even” position and who would cover the costs of design. In regard to Tilbury it should have been known about the land which was being built on and concerns in relation to the reduction in square footage at the Purfleet site. Questioned why discussions were being held to understand “if” services would fit on the Grays site and questioned whether a CCDC would be squeezed onto the site. Anthony Mckeever briefly replied to Councillor Holloway by stating “break even” meant the replacement facilities would cost no more than the provision it replaced. He was aware of the design costs and was looking at ways the NHS could contribute to those to alleviate costs to the council. They were working intensely to get these projects across the line and were trying to get all the costs aligned. Mark Tebbs stated there was an absolute commitment to provide all of the existing diagnostic services at Orsett Hospital onto the Grays site and this made sense at this time to explore as an opportunity over and above what was currently at the Orsett site.
Councillor Ralph requested a further update be provided at the next committee meeting.
Councillor Polley questioned whether those unasked questions could be sent to Jenny Shade to be forwarded on for written responses to which the chair agreed this would be a good idea.