Roger Harris presented the report and updated Members on the details of the proposed model of care; he outlined the proposed delivery mechanism for the capital build project and considered the Council’s role in both delivery and occupying part of the facility. The first stage of the process was the delivery of the Tilbury and Chadwell Integrated Medical Centre with this report being presented to Cabinet in July 2017.
Councillor Collins questioned the opening hours of the Integrated Medical Centres and would this take the pressure of Accident and Emergency. Roger Harris stated that the Centres would offer extended hours of opening and that other services would be available such as general practitioners, Local Area co-coordinators, community and voluntary services. The design and size of the centres would be discussed and agreed by the Design Team at the design stage. Roger Harris stated the Centres would not offer overnight bed facilities.
Kim James stated that a public engagement had taken place in Tilbury with 4000 residents being consulted with their views being taken on board.
Ian Evans asked about the quality of general practitioners considering many areas were under-doctored.
Mark Tebbs stated that a European Recruitment exercise of general practitioners was underway to bring the number of general practitioners up to capacity. These would work with primary health colleagues and offer primary care services.
Councillor Pothecary questioned the name change from Hubs to Integrated Medical Centres. Councillor Halden stated that residents were in the past unaware of appointments being made available at Hubs therefore this new model would be a clear package for residents to understand that appointments and services would be available locally and to use them instead of going to accident and emergency.
Councillor Pothecary questioned the duplication of services at each of the centres. Roger Harris stated that this detail would form part of the final design package for each Centre.
Councillor Snell stated that it was the intention to close Orsett Hospital and what reassurances would be given that these Centres would be open before this happened. Tom Abell stated that as part of a consultation they looked at what services were available at both Orsett and Basildon Hospitals and how these could be moved to Thurrock. There was a full commitment that services offered at Orsett Hospital would not be moved to Basildon Hospital and that Orsett Hospital would not close until such time as the Integrated Medical Centres were up and running.
Councillor Snell questioned whether there was any timescales on when Orsett Hospital would close. Tom Abell stated not specifically but with new stringent building regulations coming into force they would be looking around 2020/2021.
Councillor Gerrish questioned the budgets available. Roger Harris stated that the business case part of Phase 2 would include this but budgets would not be dependent on the closing of Orsett Hospital first.
Ian Evans questioned the floor space available at the Centres. Roger Harris stated that it would be shared with flexible space that could be used by other organisations and voluntary services.
Councillor Sheridan asked about the increase of population in Thurrock and had this been considered. Roger Harris stated that this had been an element of the design brief for future proofing and would be built into the specification accordingly.
Councillor Gerrish asked what the timescales would be for all four Centres to be up and running. Roger Harris stated that all Centres were running on slightly different arrangements and once the business case had been agreed it could be up to 18 to 24 months for building to be completed and before patients see the services up and running.
Councillor Snell thanked Officers for the report and that it was encouraging to finally see some activity.
1. That the Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee note the current status of the project and commented on the proposed mechanism for securing the delivery of the Tilbury and Chadwell Integrated Medical Centres.
2. That the Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee support the Council in taking the role outlined within the report including the decision to tender and appoint the design team.
Tom Abell and Councillor Halden left the Committee Room at 8.20pm.