Tina Starling provided members with a Power Point presentation. This PowerPoint presentation can be found on the following link:
The Chair expressed concern about the level of primary care going into the IMWC’s and commented that this seemed to differ from what they had been told previously.
Stephen Porter responded that following the pattern the Council set out in Partnership with other organisations of looking at a range of services and integrated hubs of social care, health and other professionals, third sector, voluntary and community, the very baseline would be to have a GP presence there. He further explained it will ultimately depend on which model is chosen. If they go with option 3 everyone wont be on the same site. He clarified that this in itself wont bring in new GP’s but there is another programme that is going to bring in 12 new GP’s into the area. He confirmed that they also have plans to change how GP’s work as primary care networks in a more collaborative way, there are services such as local area coordination and social prescribing to take pressure off GP’s. It has been proven elsewhere that co-location is really effective in terms of networking so people don’t have to tell their story several times over and to get a more joined up response rather than having to go through 15 different doors they go through just one. Residents will have at least what they have now in terms of primary care but third sector voluntary professionals as well.
The Chair asked the Corporate Director of Adults, Housing and Health for his view. The Corporate Director of Adults, Housing and Health confirmed that they need to be careful about the numbers as it does not appear to be a representative sample and it would be dangerous to conclude a preferred option by counting the numbers. He clarified that the original model was primary care as part of an IMC and that moved to a primary care network where a lot more services will be provided to residents in the network. The Corporate Director of Adults, Housing and Health confirmed that he would prefer to have primary care on site.
Councillor Pothecary queried if option 4 is realistic in terms of fitting in all of the services that have been promised will be transferred from Orsett to Lodge Lane along with building a new GP site as well. Councillor Pothecary also commented that it is very clear from the consultation that what people care about is capacity and she questioned what is being done about that.
Stephen Porter responded that with regard to Orsett they needed to improve access to all its services as it is an old building that needs refurbishing and it is not fit for purpose in terms of modern expectations of services in the NHS. The services that come out of there need to go somewhere else and to an accessible place. Based on further discussions as part of the scoring process and when they develop the business case, they will be looking at what meets the needs of the community best but they will also need to factor in other considerations such as transport and the Council’s clean air policy and accessibility for disabled residents. Stephen Porter acknowledged the concerns about capacity and people being able to get appointments and confirmed this will be fully scoped out and addressed as part of the wider plan.
Councillor Pothecary questioned if they do go with option 4, would there be capacity at Stifford Clays to attract more GP’s.
Stephen Porter replied that he could do a whole presentation on this issue alone and that the number of GP’s is a challenge nationally. He confirmed that more people have been seen this year than last year and they are also trying to take the pressure off GP’s through social prescribing. They are working with colleagues at the Council and they have 13 actions to transform how primary care works in Thurrock. Stephen Porter stated that they acknowledge the problem and are trying to address it.
Councillor Fish stated that he attended one of the engagement sessions at Community House in Seabrooke Rise and as noted in the presentation the turnout was disappointing. Councillor Fish stated that it was clear to him that option 4 should be the preferred option because of the advantages of co-location so it is a surprise that so many people were in favour of option 3 and therefore he queried if this is because there was a lot more replies when they visited the Stifford Clays surgery. If there had been more people at the engagement process in Seabrooke Rise and as these residents don’t know the Stifford Clay’s surgery, there may have been more replies favouring option 4.
Tina Starling responded that when she visited other surgeries a lot of residents still went for the Stifford Clays option due to the traffic issues in Long Lane. Stifford Clays is a massive building and if they go with option 4 that site will be sold.
The Chair sought confirmation that there is going to be GP’s at the Corringham IMC as previously stated.
Stephen Porter confirmed he was unable to answer this as he was not responsible for that area. The Chair requested a response to this question by email after the meeting.
Councillor Polley clarified that on page 6 of the agenda which covers the minutes of the previous meeting on 7 June 2022, Tiffany Hemming stated that from Sept 2022 12 newly qualified GP’s will be based out of the Corringham IMC.
The Chair asked the Corporate Director for Adults, Housing and Health for an update on the Tilbury IMC. The Corporate Director for Adults, Housing and Health confirmed that the OBC (Outline Business Case) has been submitted but with the caveat that it needs formal approval.
Tina Starling and Stephen Porter left the meeting at 19.48