“Half Of Us Are Doubtful…. And The Other Half Are Dead Against”

Tonight’s meeting to receive a presentation from the NHS on the plans for health services in our area was unusually interesting.

In  just about every presentation councillors get, we only hear one side of the argument. But tonight we heard both sides , because one of the consultants that came, Dr Caroline Howard, wasn’t in agreement with the other NHS representatives regarding A&E services.

The option that seems favoured by the NHS decision makers is have a “red/orange/yellow ” structure for Basildon, Southend and Broomfield hospitals.

  • A “Red” hospital would concentrate on acute medical services – in other words, the really urgent stuff like heart attack victims.
  • An “Orange ” hospital would be like hospitals are at present, with a mixture of acute and elective surgery , so they would treat both heart attack victims and people waiting for elective surgery like hip replacements.
  • A “Yellow” hospital would concentrate on elective surgery

Under the proposed structure, Basildon would be the “Red” hospital, while Broomfield and Southend would sill have A&E departments for people to visit – but all A&E ambulances would go to Basildon.

Dr Howard stated that the lead clinicians (the senior A&E consultants) at all three hospitals were opposed to this idea. One aspect was longer journey times for ambulances reduces the chances of survival. Another is that without offering the practical experience of dealing with the patients brought in by ambulance, the A&E departments at Southend and Broomfield wouldn’t be able to retain specialist A&E staff.

On other issues there was more general agreement. But a common problem was a lack of consultants , nurses and GPs. The GP problem is acute in our area – we have the second highest numbr of GP vacancies and the second highest number of GPs due for retirement. The long term answer is to train more GPs, but this will take 10 years, so in the short term our local NHS is trying to recruit 50 GPs from the EU.

Cllr Diane Hoy asked a good question about whether the ending of the bursary for trainee nurses had had an impact on recuitment and the answer was a definite yes – by about 60%

Cllr Chris Black summed up the evening by saying about half the councillors were doubtful about the changes to A&E – and the other half were dead against.

Leave a Reply

10 Comments on "“Half Of Us Are Doubtful…. And The Other Half Are Dead Against”"

Notify of
Please employ doctors from Russia, Bulgaria, Germany where are the BEST doctors in the world. I have been living in UK for 24 years and for all this time I’ve met the only two good doctors in our GP – one from Germany (unfortunately she has left our surgery 4 years ago) and another doctor from Russia. It is not acceptable at all when patients have to wait for months to have X-ray done!! UK is a wealthy country, most people have a car 4 years old and big houses and flats, however the level of health service is very… Read more »
The Mighty Oz

EB, what, our Health Service is very poor, what complete and utter rubbish. Suggest you go and live in Russia or Bulgaria if it’s that great there. 😡😡😡😡😡😡


In Russia for example they have 4.2 doctors per 1000 people. In the UK we have 2.2 doctors per 1000 people. Doctors like these are used to spending more time with their patients.This is what makes the difference.
I live with my family here because I love my husband.

James Newport

@EB you are not talking about Dr Cyrus are you?


Hi James, Yes I am talking about Dr Cyrus. She was amazing doctor. Never ever in my life I met such a good doctor, lovely person. What a pity she left our surgery and she also left last October surgery in Canvey Island.

James Titmuss
For work, I deal with a lot of projects, large and small. I’ve completed a number of project management courses as well as following the latest project approaches and supporting technology/software. One thing that puzzles me about the NHS plans is that they seem too far ahead. Long term deliveries of systems/process seem to be in the 3, 5 or 10 year bracket which brings with it increased risk of delay/non delivery, immense cost and a split of staff supporting/opposing it. Most successful projects adopt an Agile approach to project management which is to simply have a broad end goal… Read more »
Stephen Smith
The big push for integrated care on insufficient funding is proceeding at the expense of acute services and it isn’t in the patients’ best interest to be ferried about. Stroke victims, for example, need to have treatment initiated within an hour. Southend has an excellent stroke unit already and if this is retained and the equipment of ambulances modernised there could be more patients surviving. I gather a clinical lead at Southend A&E has objected to the A&E downgrade and two patient participation groups in Southend have so far voted against the downgrade. Prisons, schools, the NHS and the police… Read more »
Bruce smart

Stephen no it isn’t unthinkable but it does make you unelectable. Lib Dems did not do well on a policy of 1p tax rate rise for the N.H.S.


[…] last time the success regime came to council, as reported by the late Cllr Chris Black, we were extremely doubtful of the proposals that were being presented to us. This time it really […]