THE Labour Party’s parliamentary candidate for Thurrock has reacted angrily to the Health Secretary’s decision to plough ahead with the closure of Orsett Hospital.
Cllr Kent said: “This decision, though not a surprise, is still shocking and one that I, as a Thurrock resident, find very sad indeed.
“The 75% of Thurrock people who opposed the closure during the consultation have been ignored, and the 20,000 people who used the hospital last year overlooked.
“We have no guarantees that vital services will be relocated elsewhere in Thurrock just jargon and spin.
At the moment Orsett Hospital provides a number of vital health services, including muscles and bones, kidney dialysis, and eye care. The plan is for four Integrated Medical Centres to provide these services.
Mr Kent said “The fact is that Orsett Hospital works because providing a large range of services on one site gives gives the critical mass you need to ensure each individual service works – spreading these services over a number of sites weakens them and will, without doubt, lead to patients having to travel further to access the medical care they need.
“I am, frankly, astonished that Thurrock Conservatives believe closing our Hospital is “an amazing opportunity.” Although it shouldn’t really come as a surprise. Our Conservative MP has openly called for Orsett Hospital to be shut, and Thurrock Tories have supported it every step of the way. They are completely out of step with Thurrock residents and have all let us down.
“The process has been a sham from start to finish. We all know the hospital is being closed so the site can be sold for housing as part of the government campaign to raise £2 billion from selling NHS assets.”