Southend High Street was packed with people rallying to defend Southend NHS against threatened downgrades
Southend High Street was packed with people rallying to defend Southend NHS against threatened downgrades

Southend Labour members and councillors were proud to march with fellow residents, NHS staff members and comrades from Trades Unions and other organisations today (27th January) in support of the Save Southend NHS Campaign.

Last year an enormous amount of public and political pressure forced the authorities to back down on proposals to downgrade the A&E service at Southend Hospital, but the threats continue for other hospital services.

Southend’s general hospital service is under attack from the Tories’ plans for Sustainability & Transformation Partnerships (STP). As local residents who will assuredly all need a local hospital at some point in our lives, we must all resist the downgrading and relocation of hospital services and the savage cuts to our NHS.

A Labour Government will scrap the STPs  and instead create a system that will protect and defend our NHS for the years to come. Labour’s creation of the NHS is our proudest achievement, providing universal healthcare for all on the basis of need, free at the point of use. It will last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it. We are among those folk and sincerely hope that many readers of this website post are too.

The ‘public consultation’ on the STP plans closes on the 9th March and the documents can be found on the Mid & South Essex NHS website. Please bear in mind that the consultation document has been prepared by the people in favour of the changes and is far from being impartial. Proposals have also been changed during the consultation process and could be again, so you may well want to decide to wait until you’ve read – or heard – all the information before completing the STP’s questionnaire (which many people consider to be weighted towards that organisation’s desired outcome anyway). Updates – including information and opinions from real doctors as opposed to spin doctors – will be posted on this site as they become available. A synopsis of how some of the current proposals would affect residents in Southend is shown in a table at the bottom of this post.

The Mid & South Essex NHS has arranged a discussion event for Thursday 8thFebruary, 6.30pm – 8pm at the Cliffs Pavilion’s Maritime Room.  Everyone who wishes to hear more about the proposals from the people behind them, and to ask questions, is encouraged to attend.  You can book your place by clicking on the green ‘Register’ button on the page here.

A petition calling on our local MPs and Councillors to refer the proposals back to the Secretary of State for Health has been organised by the Save Southend NHS Campaign (a non-political organisation) and you can read and sign it by clicking here. There is more information about the Save Southend NHS group on their website and Facebook page.


Extract from the proposed specific changes based on principles in the STP consultation document (principles 2, 3 & 4 as indicated) showing how the proposals affect people in Southend

Complex gastroenterology (digestive system) problems requiring

a hospital stay

(Principle 2) Broomfield (Chelmsford)

Emergency general surgery requiring a hospital stay

(Principle 2) Broomfield (Chelmsford)

Urological (eg bladder & kidney problems) requiring a hospital stay

(Principle 4) Broomfield (Chelmsford)

Urological cancer surgery would continue at Southend as now.

Complex lung problems requiring a hospital stay

(Principle 2) Basildon

Complex kidney problems requiring a hospital stay

(Principle 2) Basildon

Vascular (arteries or veins) diseases

(Principle 2) Basildon

Complex heart problems requiring a hospital stay

(Principle 2) Basildon

Some emergency orthopaedic surgery (eg for broken bones)

(Principle 4) Basildon

Planned orthopaedic surgery (bones, joints & muscles) requiring

a hospital stay

(Principle 4) Southend

Gynaecological surgery requiring a hospital stay

(Principle 2) Southend

Patients needing some emergency services, such as stroke care,

would be treated initially at Southend and if necessary transferred

to a specialist team at Basildon

(Principle 3)

Source: Mid & South Essex STP, Plans for Hospital Services:

The Principles (accessed 27/1/2018)

Synopsis published with grateful acknowledgement to the Save Southend NHS Campaign and based on a document prepared by them.

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