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Health Services: Braintree

Volume 458: debated on Monday 12 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the impact of the proposed independent sector treatment centre in Bocking, Braintree on the future of the proposed community hospital on the site of St Michael’s Hospital, Braintree. (123425)

The introduction of independent sector treatment centres (ISTCs) is expected to increase patient choice and accessibility across the region. It is for strategic health authorities to manage the integration of ISTC schemes with local national health service provision.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what discussions have taken place between her Department and the Mid Essex Primary Care Trust on the location of the proposed independent sector treatment centre in Bocking, Braintree; (123426)

(2) what consultation with Mid Essex Primary Care Trust took place before the announcement of Mercury Health as the preferred bidder for the provision of an independent sector treatment centre in Bocking, Braintree.

Engagement with the local national health service on the Essex independent sector treatment centre (ISTC) scheme was with the local strategic health authority (SHA), not directly with the primary care trusts. At the time of Mercury Health’s appointment as the scheme’s preferred bidder, which was agreed with the East of England SHA, the locations of the proposed ISTC sites, including a potential location in Braintree, had not been finalised.

Location proposals for the ISTC scheme were agreed with East of England SHA. It is anticipated that there will be three ISTCs in the region located in Braintree, Basildon and Southend; locations have been adopted to facilitate easier access for patients in Essex in relation to healthcare services.