LOCAL Conservatives are calling for a review of GP services in Thurrock to be the first task of the council’s new Health and Wellbeing Board.
The new Board consists of councillors and healthcare experts, and will play a major role in setting the council’s health priorities for Thurrock. Conservative Board member Cllr Shane Hebb used the inaugural meeting to call for a thorough review into GP services. The Government recently criticised out-of-hours’ services, such as weekend and evening care.
Cllr Hebb said “We know that Thurrock has issues with a lack of GP coverage across our communities, and this impacts heavily on the quality of care many residents receive – many people find it too difficult to make an appointment to see someone on the same day. This is a huge issue for the whole borough, and it is something the new Health and Wellbeing Board has agreed to lead on.
“We also need to look at so-called ‘out of hours’ services. Labour changed the rules so that GPs are no longer directly responsible for overnight and evening services. As a result, it is often difficult to access healthcare out-of-hours, and it has been estimated that this has led to as many as 4 million unnecessary trips to A&E nationally each year – putting extra pressure on hospitals such as Basildon.
“These issues need to be looked at as part of a full review into GP services. We all want the best quality healthcare in Thurrock, and to achieve that we need to deal with our issues around GPs immediately.”