After a sustained campaign and significant political pressure, today the Mid and South Essex Success Regime has announced plans to centralise three A&E departments at Basildon hospital have been scrapped for the short term. The new, revised model will enable Basildon, Broomfield and Southend Hospitals to continue to receive ‘blue light’ ambulances with critical patients transferred to a specialist team, if necessary, as is currently the case.
Labour’s Ashley Dalton, 2017 parliamentary candidate for Rochford & Southend East, has responded, saying:
“I welcome the Success Regime’s decision to revisit their plans and protect A&E provision at Southend, Basildon and Broomfield. It was clear from the beginning that patient need and safety was not being fully considered in these plans. I spoke to thousands of people throughout my campaign and the A&E was a huge topic for them. They felt ignored by their MP and were concerned for their safety should the A&E lose ‘blue light’ services. The numbers speak for themselves – James Duddridge saw his majority slashed by 42% as voters flocked to a candidate and party who truly care about local issues and services. I want to pay tribute to the sterling work of the Save Southend A&E campaign in getting the Success Regime to rethink their plans – I was a supporter from day one and this is a victory that all the people of Southend who supported the campaign should be proud of.”
Taking in to consideration the evidence and views of patients, stakeholders and local people a revised model has been developed by health leaders to rule out the blanket redirection of all ‘blue light’ ambulances to Basildon but continue to send serious cases directly to specialist clinics. Senior doctors are exploring options and clinical evidence to see if other severe conditions could benefit from this approach.
Ashley Dalton added: “Mid and South Essex Success Regime have stated their aim is still to develop specialist and to separate planned operations and treatments from emergency care. Decisions on the future pattern of services will be made after a full public consultation. We have won the battle to keep ‘blue light’ ambulance services at Southend A&E for the short term but it is absolutely vital that we keep the pressure on to ensure the needs of patients are at the heart of any future plans in the medium or long term.”