FROM April 1st, Thurrock Council and local GPs will have a greater say on healthcare in Thurrock. Last Wednesday’s full council saw the new Health and Wellbeing Board formed where councillors, patient groups and health professionals will make decisions about local services. Additionally, and a new Health and Wellbeing strategy was adopted, setting out the priorities for the coming few years.
Supporting the changes, Conservative Health spokesman Cllr Shane Hebb said “I welcome the important changes associated with the new Health and Wellbeing Board. We need the public and GPs to be at the forefront of shaping the future of healthcare locally. The board brings together local councillors and healthcare experts to work for the common good, and this can only help secure the very best Healthcare for Thurrock.
“Hand-in-hand with these changes is the Health and Wellbeing strategy, which identifies our priorities in Thurrock. After much hard work from councillors and professionals alike, this is our Manifesto for Health, a document we can all be proud of. The strategy shows local residents we are on their side, and binds the council to its promises. Many of our communities need more doctors, and I am pleased the strategy highlights this. Lack of doctors encourages people to go to A&E unnecessarily, which is a serious strain on resources which are designed for the most serious incidents. Basildon Hospital cannot be the first port of call for healthcare.
“These changes, which came into force on April 1st, should see healthcare provision in Thurrock improve, and that can only be good news for the people who live here.”