No more change to regional NHS structures. Decision is welcomed by Thurrock's lead health councillor

  Posted: 28.07.21 at 15:25 by The Editor

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POSSIBLE further changes to the way health care is administered in the East of England, including Thurrock, have been scrapped by the recently appointed Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

One of the key issues on the desk of the recently Covid-stricken Sajid Javid when he took office last month following the resignation of scandal-hit Matt Hancock was a review by the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England over further integration of the variety of bodies that run health care across wide regions.

In the East of England, and particularly south Essex, there has already been substantial integration and change over recent years, most notably with the formation of the Mid and South Essex Hospials Trust – which effectively merged the management of Basildon, Chelmsford and Southend Hospitals and associated services.

There have also been changes to the structure of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and a process is currently being undertaken to bring Essex-wide CCGs under one structure.

Further integrations were planned bu now Mr Javid has ruled that there should be no further changes in the East of England.

That is news that has been welcomed in Thurrock by the borough council’s portfolio holder for healthcare.

Cllr Allen Mayes says: “We are delighted that the government has recognised that the work ongoing here in Thurrock, and indeed Essex and the wider East of England region, to ensure we have joined up health and care services means that services do not need to be reformed like they are in the majority of the rest of the country.

“I would like to thank our MP Jackie Doyle-Price and Thurrock Council Leader, Cllr Rob Gledhill, for writing to the Secretary of State and strongly selling the case for Thurrock.

“The Secretary of State’s decision means that we can continue to build on the work which has been done to create integrated care systems which see GPs, hospitals, social care and physical and mental health and well-being schemes working together in lock-step to better benefit patients and residents.

“It also means that our residents will get a continuity of care and service which could have been disrupted if reforms were forced on us without taking the local picture into account.”

In one option initially proposed by government the current Mid and South Essex Integrated Care Partnership footprint would have been re-drawn to one that was Essex county-wide. This would have created a much larger and more complex integrated care system encompassing the current North East and West Essex health partners.

However, the review has concluded the risks of making changes did not outweigh the benefits offered by maintaining the status quo, which means Thurrock residents will receive hospital, GP and social care from the same organisations that are currently delivering it.

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