A HOSPITAL spokesperson has pledged there will be no changes to the future of Thurrock’s Orsett Hospital without consultation with its users and borough residents after a wave of public concern following a political meeting.
At a General Election hustings event in Grays on Monday, Conservative candidate Jackie Doyle-Price, who has served as the constituency’s MP for the past seven years had suggested Orsett Hospital might close to fund new health facilities.
Responding to a question from the public Ms Doyle-Price said: “We’d still be treated in Victorian workhouses if we didn’t renew our NHS estates.
“NHS Trusts should be free to sell that land if they want to reinvest it in new and improved facilities. And that’s exactly what’s going to happen with regard to Orsett Hospital.”
That was interpreted as a green light for closure of the hospital by some watchers and social media was flooded with comment about the local hospital, which houses a minor injuries unite, day outpatients centre and other specialist facilities.
However, the NHS Trust in charge of the running of Orsett Hospital have said that no decision has yet been made on the future of the facility.
In the wake of a public outcry Basildon and Thurrock University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust stated that though discussions were ongoing over the future of the hospital nothing had been decided, nor would it be without public consultation.
A spokesperson for the Trust said:“There are discussions taking place around the future of local hospital and community–based health services; through the Essex Success Regime and the joint Thurrock CCG and Thurrock Council proposals set out in For Thurrock, in Thurrock.
“The services currently provided at Orsett Hospital are being considered as part of these and no decisions will be made without first asking those who use the services, residents and staff for their views.”