Tiffany Hemming presented a PowerPoint on the update of the Integrated Medical Centres (IMCs). This PowerPoint can be found from the following link:
Councillor Piccolo thanked Tiffany Hemming for the update and referred to the extended deadline of the Tilbury IMC and questioned whether those additional costs for the redesign work would be looked at from another source. Tiffany Hemming stated that the savings for the redesign had come back, and they had saved relatively little and that work was now underway to ensure the design actually worked as it currently did not. Work would be undertaken to determine how much space was in the building which in turn would predict the overall costs for the building. A decision would be made once the district valuation costs had been determined and whether this cost would be affordable to the NHS. Councillor Piccolo continued to question what the fall-back position would be if this was not affordable and the additional funding was not available from NHS England. Tiffany Hemming confirmed that currently there was not a fall-back position but work continued by sending strong linkages to the towns regeneration scheme which highlighted significant additional benefits that might help to persuade NHS England to allow for the work to move forward.
Councillor Piccolo referred to the services moving out of Orsett Hospital into the Corringham IMC and questioned how many of those services would be available from day one to which Tiffany Hemming stated there would be a soft launch, moving services over a few weeks and expected to have everything operating out of the Corringham IMC in the space of about six weeks.
Councillor Fish questioned what the parking arrangements at the Corringham Health Centre second site would be, as he had experienced problems parking and felt the parking arrangements were dangerous. Tiffany Hemming stated at this time no car parking plans had been made for that site and as the strategy was developed for that site this would include a travel plan which would include parking.
Councillor Polley referred to fellowship general practitioners and the extended appointment times and questioned whether 111 would have access to these out of hours appointments or would these only be available through resident’s general practitioner. Councillor Polley raised her concerns on the lack of primary care appointments and to the lack of progress being made to the Purfleet, Grays and Tilbury IMCs and asked for reassurance that Orsett Hospital would not close until all four IMCs were up and running and all services were available to residents. Tiffany Hemming stated that extended appointments and general practitioner appointments would be open to 111 to book and for residents to book via their general practitioner as the systems were electronically linked. It had been recognised that Thurrock was under doctored and was being prioritised for the general practitioner fellowship scheme, to recruit 12 newly qualified general practitioners to be based at the Corringham IMC from September 2022 and provide a minimum of 500 appointments across the whole of Thurrock. Members were reassured that Orsett Hospital would only close once all services had been relocated from where they were currently provided into the IMCs.
Councillor Pothecary stated that the process so far had not inspired her with confidence that the plans would move quickly enough to have those three IMCs opened by 2024 and questioned what plans were in place should these sites not be delivered before the scheduled closure date of Orsett Hospital. Tiffany Hemming acknowledged Councillor Pothecary’s concerns and stated that in her new role as executive director she would be bringing in three people who would be dedicated to work on the program as permanent management officers to ensure everything was undertaken in a timely manner and everything happened as it should. A part time lead person to lead on the program would also be brought in to ensure work actually happened when it should and to ensure activities would be delivered on time. Members were also informed that the closure of Orsett Hospital would also be work streamed into the program so that it would be linked with the opening of the four sites.
Councillor Sammons also raised her concerns that Orsett Hospital should not close until all the services were available in the IMCs.
Councillor Snell raised his disappointment that general practitioners offering services would not now be physically present in the IMCs to which Tiffany Hemming stated it was still the plan to put general practitioner services into the four IMCs alongside primary care network services which would be open to all residents. Also appointments at IMCs would be offered by general practitioners for residents who may need to see a general practitioner who specialised in a particular area.
Councillor Piccolo thanked Tiffany Hemming for the presentation and the responses provided to the questions raised this evening.
Tiffany Hemming left the meeting at 7.47pm.