Thurrock Labour respond to Orsett Hospital decision: The fight goes on!
COUNCILLOR Oliver Gerrish, Leader of Thurrock Labour, has reacted to the decision to close Orsett hospital by vowing to continue the fight to keep Orsett Hospital open.
Cllr Gerrish said, “There’s no doubt this is a huge setback to all of us who have opposed the closure of Orsett Hospital. I am extremely disappointed that the CCGs have come to this conclusion and put into motion the process to close Orsett. However, with a timescale that is likely to stretch to 2021 at least, there may still be an opportunity to save Orsett Hospital over coming years. I have not given up hope that we might be successful, but it has clearly become far more difficult.
“I remain completely unconvinced about the plans for the vital services at Orsett Hospital, and how these will be delivered in the future. There is huge uncertainty about what will actually be provided after this decision, and where.
“In the immediate future we must now carefully review our available options and loudly reassert our belief that the best thing for Thurrock is that Orsett Hospital remains open. We must review any plans that come forward and ensure they receive detailed challenge. Above all, my view is that the fight must go on – we cannot simply roll over and accept the closure.”
Thurrock Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate, John Kent has slammed the decision.
Cllr Kent said: “This decision, though not a surprise, is still shocking and one that I, as a Thurrock resident, find very sad indeed.
“The 75% of Thurrock people who opposed the closure during the consultation have been ignored, and the 20,000 people who used the hospital last year overlooked.
“We have no guarantees that vital services will be relocated elsewhere in Thurrock just jargon about co production and people’s panels.
“The process has been a sham. We all know the hospital is being closed so the site can be sold for housing as part of the government campaign to raise £2 billion from selling NHS assets.
“There has been a hospital in Orsett for each of the 70 years of our NHS and we must keep on opposing its closure until the very last.”