HEALTH bosses in Essex have decided not to go ahead with plans which campaigners argued would downgrade two accident and emergency departments reports the BBC.
They were thinking about turning Basildon into a specialist A&E centre, redirecting ambulances which would previously have gone to Broomfield and Southend hospitals.
Under a revised plan, all three hospitals would keep their A&E departments – with patients being taken to their nearest – but would each offer a wider range of specialist treatments.
At the moment some patients are transferred to the relevant specialist centre – for example, those with severe burns go to Broomfield – and doctors are now looking at whether this can be expanded to cover more medical conditions.
Clare Panniker, chief executive of Basildon, Broomfield and Southend Hospitals, said: “We have discussed with staff and local people the benefits of one hospital, possibly Basildon, providing the most serious emergency treatment.
“But, in the feedback from over 100 local discussion events, we have heard very clearly that some people have significant concerns about all ‘blue light’ ambulances going straight to Basildon.
“We have been thinking how we could address these concerns, and still improve patient care with different specialist teams across our three hospital sites and the separation of planned and emergency care.”