THE Mid and South Essex Success Regime has today (Monday 23 January) published two independent clinical reviews of the emerging plans to “reconfigure” the three main hospitals in Basildon, Chelmsford and Southend.
The reports were prepared by the East of England Clinical Senate following detailed reviews which took place in June and October 2016. The role of the Clinical Senate is to provide independent, strategic advice and guidance to healthcare planning. The reviews made constructive recommendations to help the Success Regime continue to develop its plans. The panels that undertook the reviews involved senior clinicians from outside Essex and patient representatives.
Dr Ronan Fenton, joint medical director for the Mid and South Essex Success Regime said: “We are delighted that the Clinical Senate supports our proposed direction of travel for health and care services in mid and south Essex, and we accept the panel’s recommendations about further work to make sure that we explore fully the implications of service change for local people. We will continue to do this over the next few months as we narrow down the potential options for change.
“The independent advice of the Clinical Senate is one of many inputs that will be considered in reaching preferred options. It is by no means a decision, but an important part of the evidence that will inform decisions.”
The Clinical Senate’s final report of October 2016 supports the principle of having a designated specialist emergency hospital for more challenging and complex emergency work. It also supports the principle of having a centre of excellence for planned care. The report states that;
“This opportunity could be fully exploited to develop a centre for Essex that provides at scale, high quality services and care, first class training posts, developing expertise and a sense of pride among its workforce. This should create a centre that staff and patients would want to come to.”
The review panel also felt that the potential hospital changes could be “bolder with greater potential benefits if there was less focus on continuing to provide virtually all current services on all three sites.”
However, the review panel urged caution around the pace of change recommending that quality and safety of services is paramount and the need for long -term sustainable services should take priority over speed.
Next steps in February and March will narrow down the hospital reconfiguration possibilities to one or two preferred options that will then be the basis for a detailed business case to be reviewed by national bodies before public consultation later in 2017.
Further information on the emerging plans for health and care in mid and south Essex is available from the Success Regime website www.successregimeessex.co.uk
The plans are summarised in a public document, 10 things you should know about your local health and care plan.
The full reports from the East of England Clinical Senate are available from