Roger Harris stated that following the decision made by the Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee to join the Joint Committee with Essex and Southend he and Members had attended informal and formal meetings. That Councillor Snell had been made Vice-Chair of the Joint Committee and that the Consultation had been extended to the 23 March 2018. Roger Harris stated that the response would be a joint response but reserve the right to submit responses once further information was available. There had been particular concerns on unanswered questions on transport, the service plan, finances, Orsett hospital and the integrated medical centres. It was envisaged that following the end of the consultation period, the Joint Committee will continue to meet, consider and address issues.
Councillor Snell stated that the result of the consultation so far were not surprising. With no clinical evidence as to why the consultation was being undertaken. Councillor Snell stated that there were so many unanswered questions and residents were not exactly sure what was being proposed. That no definitive answers had been given on when Orsett hospital would close and where services would be situated.
Councillor Redsell stated that having attended public consultations it was evident that residents did not have the right information and understanding and would like to see some positivity come out of these consultation events.
Roger Harris stated that this was down to the element of trust with the consultation process and that residents were not convinced on the proposed plans and how these services would be delivered.
Councillor G Rice stated that it was down to distrust and had concerns that the integrated medical centres might not be able to pick up all the services such as dialysis. Kim James stated that HealthWatch had spoken to users and carers at dialysis units and as patients were transported by ambulance there was no real concern as to where the treatments would be undertaken, just that importance of these treatments being received.
The Chair stated that Members should be sceptical on what services would remain in Thurrock and that different responses were being given depending on who you spoke to.
Councillor Collins stated that he would like to see a business model and see something in writing that no services would be moved out of Thurrock.
The Chair stated that the consultation was being clinically driven but had not seen any evidence of this as yet.
Kim James stated that HealthWatch had invited representatives from the Sustainability and Transformation Plan to meet residents so that real time issues and views could be discussed and picked up.
Kim James stated that dates had been cancelled for the Sustainability and Transformation Plan Programme Board and had been informed that HealthWatch should join the Chairs Group. Kim James had concerns that the Sustainability and Transformation Plan was losing the capacity to have real independent voices heard. Councillor Snell agreed to raise this issue at the formal Joint Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee this week.