Thurrock Labour’s John Kent slams plans to replace Orsett Hospital

John Kent May

A LEADING Thurrock councillor has hit out at the latest health authority plans to replace Orsett Hospital.

Cllr John Kent, who says he remembers the Save Orsett Hospital meetings of the 1990s well and who is the Labour Party’s candidate for the Thurrock parliamentary constituency, said: “There are several important points for people to think about, not least the choice of Long Lane as a minor injuries unit.”

He added: “What became clear from Wednesday’s meeting is there is no guarantee that all clinical services now at Orsett would be located elsewhere in Thurrock.

“I was shocked to hear that the money from government to make this plan work is not there; its been spent on easing the south- and mid-Essex NHS winter crisis.”

Cllr Kent said: “The choice of Long Lane shows a lack of local knowledge and a lack of forward thinking.

“Anybody who has been to or used the Thurrock Community Hospital knows it is not that accessible by public transport, it is not easy to get around if you have mobility problems. And it already has huge car parking problems.

“It seems to me the people who put this scheme together concentrated on the big ticket items – the three main hospitals. Orsett was an afterthought, and simply seen as a saving. Once again the future of the people of Thurrock was a postscript.

“I would have preferred to see a more imaginative proposal such as a new build community hospital on the site previously assembled for the purpose at Hogg Lane.

“The STP should rip up its Thurrock proposals and return in a few months’ time with a fully thought out and fully costed plan for the borough’s hospital; needs. To this point, I do not believe a convincing case for closing Orsett has been made.”

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