Tilbury health crisis: Health bosses to be invited to council meeting

THE head of England’s National Health Service in East Anglia is being invited to Thurrock to explain why the borough’s GP situation – particularly in Tilbury – is so bad.

The chair of Thurrock Council’s Health and Well-being Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the cabinet member for health say they want answers and solutions.

Cllr Barbara Rice, portfolio holder for health, said: “The NHS is responsible for GP provision in our borough, but Thurrock Council has improving the health and wellbeing of our residents as one of our five top objectives and GPs are major players in achieving this.”

She added: “In May I said I would be holding the NHS to account for the lack of GPs across the borough, but since then inspection reports show the situation is even worse. Action has to be taken and it has to be taken quickly.

“I am really pleased the Health and Well-being scrutiny committee is looking at this in their first meeting this year and that Andrew Pike, the director of NHS East Anglia has been personally invited.

“There are ideas and proposals out there, but we need to be assured the NHS is on top of the situation and actually doing something about it. I look forward to Mr Pike’s presentation with anticipation and have written to him asking him to come.”

The meeting is at 7pm on the evening of Thursday, 23 July.

Cllr Graham Snell, chair of the Health and Well-being Overview and Scrutiny Committee, added: “I have known for some time that there is a problem here regarding GPs and that the council was working with NHS England to try and find a solution.

“I spoke with Cllr Rice and we both believe it is important the top person comes and talks to us and explains the situation – telling us how and why it has got this bad and exactly what they’re going to do about it.”

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