A PUBLIC meeting focusing on health issues in and around Tilbury is being held later this month.
The meeting – between 6pm and 8pm on Tuesday, 20 October, at Lansdowne Primary School, Lansdowne Road, Tilbury – will be chaired by Tilbury representative Lynn Worrall.
It follows a Health and Well-being Overview and Scrutiny meeting in August where committee chair Cllr Graham Snell and Cllr Barbara Rice, portfolio for health quizzed the NHS’s Director of Commissioning Operations, NHS Midlands and East – Andrew Pike on the town’s GP crisis.
At the meeting Mr Pike assured the committee of an upcoming “Estate Strategy for Tilbury” due for release by the end of the year.
Joining Cllr Worrall and local councillors, will be an array of experts including representatives from NHS Thurrock Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS England, Healthwatch Thurrock, and the council to listen to people’s views and answer queries from the floor.
Cllr Worrall said: “Everyone living in Tilbury knows there is a health problem here. It seems the NHS recognises that now and I want local people to help keep up the pressure on all the health services.
“We cannot allow them to think we are satisfied or happy – we are not. We want something done; and done now, our lives, literally rely on it!”
She added: “Back in the summer the regional NHS England chief admitted there were problems with GPs across Thurrock, and especially in Tilbury, but the GP issue is just the most immediate need.
“We have long banged on about Thurrock’s health inequalities – on average people in the most deprived areas die nearly ten years earlier than those in the ‘best’. That cannot be right.
“Now is the time to stand up and be heard. Not tomorrow, not next week – it’s now.
“It is simply not good enough for Tilbury and Thurrock GPs to have patient lists twice the size – and in one case six times the size – of the national average.
“We need the NHS regionally and nationally to work with the local CCG and the local council to develop packages attracting new enthused GPs to the area – and we need more training for current GPs too.”
NHS Thurrock CCG’s (Acting) Interim Accountable Officer, Mandy Ansell, added: “We recognise the issues that Tilbury residents are dealing with in regard to the GP access.
“That is why we, along with Thurrock Council and Healthwatch Thurrock, are organising this event to ensure Tilbury residents are able to have their say.
“We are pleased to say there are some very exciting plans to address the situation, namely the ongoing plans to build a brand new health facility in the centre of Tilbury.
“We want residents to come along to this event and tell us what services they think should be in the new building.”