Proposals for A&E shake-up in Essex hospitals, including Basildon, Southend, and Broomfield

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Surgery, doctors, hospital, medical, operation - Credit: Archant

People are being urged to have their say as a consultation continues on proposals to merge Essex hospitals – which might change where injured and ill people are treated.

Under the plans, from the NHS Mid and South Essex Success Regime, there will be one specialist Accident and Emergency (A&E) unit at either Basildon, Southend, or Broomfield Hospital.

While all three will keep their own walk-in centres, people with serious or life-threatening cases would be treated at the one designated site.

It would mean patients from Dunmow and the surrounding area, who would usually be taken to Broomfield Hospital’s A&E, may instead go to one of the other sites.

The Mid and South Essex Success Regime put forward the plans in its Sustainability and Transformation Plan, claiming it will save more lives.

It says Essex already benefits from specialist centres, including a burns centre in Broomfield and heart attack specialists in Basildon, and a specialist centre may free up time and resources at the other two A&Es.

The plan will help towards its goals of joined up care with more collaboration across the hospitals.

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Other bonuses from a merger would include savings on administration, shorter waiting times, no cancelled operations, and closing staffing gaps.

The plans also include developing a single health record, and more of an emphasis on digital care – even treating people via their laptops.

Patients from Dunmow taken to A&E by ambulance will still be taken to the most appropriate unit. include Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow.

Anita Donley, independent clinical chairwoman of the Mid and South Essex Success Regime, said: “We cannot keep expanding hospital services.

“We must make best use of the precious and excellent workforce we have in Essex and, with our social care and local government colleagues, prepare better community and GP services – otherwise we will waste tax payers’ money on an out-dated system.

“The Mid and South Essex plan tackles the risks of modern life, such as obesity, mental health problems and how we support people who are living longer.

“By working together as a system and with the hospitals working together as a group, there are many opportunities to improve health, increase people’s chances of survival and a good recovery from serious illness and improve patients’ experience overall.”

Before it is finalised in 2017, there are national checks and a public consultation on the plans.

The full plan is online at