Broomfield Hospital A&E in Chelmsford to still receive emergency calls

PUBLISHED: 13:09 20 July 2017 | UPDATED: 13:09 20 July 2017

Broomfield Hospital A&E department in Chelmsford. Picture: MEHT

Broomfield Hospital A&E department in Chelmsford. Picture: MEHT

Archant

Health bosses have cancelled plans to merge Chelmsford, Southend and Basildon hospital A&E departments and route all emergency ambulance calls to Basildon.

Under proposals set out from the Mid and South Essex NHS Success Regime there had been plans to merge the emergency departments of the three hospitals and set up specialist teams at each.

The plans meant ambulances on emergency calls would all travel to Basildon.

However the body has announced today that following feedback from the public all three A&Es would remain open for emergencies 24/7 – “ruling out the blanket redirection of all ‘blue light’ ambulances.

Some calls may travel to other departments for specialist treatment – as happens currently – and work will continue over the next few months to see if more specialist teams can be created.

Clare Panniker, chief executive of the three hospitals, said: “We have been looking at how we could organise services across our three main hospital sites, working together and using our people and resources as effectively as possible for the greatest benefit for patients.

“One of the improvements we want to make is to separate out emergency care from planned operations and treatments needing an overnight stay, to reduce the number of times we have to cancel planned operations. We know when this happens it is frustrating and difficult for patients and their families.

“We also want our three hospitals to work together, offering different specialist services at each of our sites.

“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 we have heard very clearly some people have significant concerns about all ‘blue light’ ambulances going straight to Basildon.”

Dr Anita Donley, independent chairwoman of the Success Regime, added: “No decision on the future pattern of services has yet been taken. We will only decide what changes to make after a full public consultation.”

Andy Abbott, co-ordinator of the Defend our A&E campaign, welcomed the announcement.

He said: “It is great news and it shows again the importance of campaigning, of people power.

“We have run two great campaigns, in Southend and Chelmsford, and if this is to be believed we have been victorious.

“The devil is always in the detail, and when these proposals go out to consultation we will look into what those details are.

“But it looks good, and I am very pleased.”

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