Members of the Environment, Housing and Community Panel were pleased to meet recently with Jonathan Marron on behalf of South West Essex PCT, to discuss plans about the changes proposed to services at Brentwood Community Hospital.
Mr Marron explained that with the PCT having to save £37m out of £660 million in South West Essex, delivery of services throughout the region were being closely scrutinised. He agreed with local Councillors – some of who had personal experience of using the Community Hospital – that Brentwood residents were generally very positive about the service they receive.
National changes to the NHS mean that GPs will have greater control of budgets and it expected that the pressure will be on Brentwood Community Hospital to increase patient services so that Brentwood residents can be helped locally, without having to travel long distances. Mr Marron assured members that there was no threat to the Hospital, but that existing contracts are being renegotiated to reflect the changing market, and that efforts were being made to provide treatments which saw patients returning home much quicker as it is proven that recovery rates are therefore improved.
Chairman of the Panel, Cllr Roger Hirst, said, ‘The Hospital is enormously popular and 90% of the town would be sad to see a reduction in its facilities. I was therefore grateful to Mr Marron for taking the time to speak to us, and I will be following up specific issues with him over coming months.’