We know that sadly West Essex was excluded from the Success Regime, taking place elsewhere in Essex to look at service improvements, and therefore currently feels and looks fairly isolated.
Acute mergers are occurring in all other parts of Essex, but West Essex and the Princess Alexandra Hospital have no friends at the moment.
Profiling in the media hasn’t been that high and we simply don’t know what the health and social care situation will be moving forward.
It’s not all bad news as we know a number of the key partners are in deep discussion about a new health/social and educational centre to be built to replace the existing PAH acute hospital. If it’s agreed now it would take 10 years before it would be fully open.
So why is this plan important?
We know in West Essex we are joining a much larger area and this will change the face of healthcare moving forward.
PAH, the Lister and Watford general hospitals have agreed to work much closer but we don’t know what this actually means and what impact this will have on patient care as well as nursing services.
We have seen in other areas that some specialist services will be based in one location but it may appear ridiculous that people from West Essex would be expected to travel to Watford and vice versa.
In Harlow and other areas there are now neighbourhood teams that are starting to bring about change.
We welcome the CCG’s decision to introduce direct referral to physiotherapists instead of waiting to be referred from a GP.
We currently don’t have a strong relationship from the Essex side of the STP, but we were delighted to receive notification that Deborah Fielding, the CEO of the West Essex CCG, has been appointed as the new leader of the STP.
We now feel more confident that the West Essex concerns will now be an equal partner as we move forward. So not all bad news.
We're very keen to recruit more local reps from the community to help forge a new relationship within the framework of the STP.
If you would be interested then please let me know via firstname.lastname@example.org.