Over 200 people have signed a petition asking for a Billericay community hospital in Billericay to stay as it is.
Patients of the Mayflower Community Hospital have put their names on the petition to show their anger at plans by NHS South West Essex to reduce the number of beds and relocate essential services to the Brentwood Community Hospital and GP surgeries.
Currently in the public consultation stage, it will save £1.3million a year. The PCT is currently facing debts of £35 million and this will affect it's other hospitals in Brentwood and Grays.
Billericay resident, Roy Jones has been treated at the Mayflower Hospital for Parkin-son’s disease and a heart problem and started the petition. He said there was a “strong” feeling among patients.
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Roy Jones"]I am delighted with the response. It shows the people who are treated at the hospital really like it there as the staff are so good and caring, It has allowed most of us to really build up a great rapport with them. I know they have to save money, but there could be better ways for them to do it, like getting the GPs who will take over some of the services to go look at the hospital and let them decide what to keep and change.[/quote]
Services being transferred from the Mayflower to Brentwood include physiotherapy and intravenous therapies, such as blood transfusions.
Tonia Parsons, associate director of out-of-hospital commissioning at NHS South West Essex, said: “We are always willing to listen to suggestions made by local people and stakeholders, and to discuss with them their ideas for improving services. We need to balance these ideas with clear evidence of need and the resources we have available.”
The public consultation period for the proposals closes on 13th May 2011 and this will be followed by an open meeting.