04/06/2020 | Press releases

Elective care centre feedback set for discussion

Around 450 people have fed back their views on a proposal to create an elective care centre (ECC) in Colchester for patients who need planned orthopaedic surgery, such as hip and knee replacements.

The community was encouraged to comment on East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust’s (ESNEFT) plans to create the centre at Colchester Hospital in Turner Road during a six-week consultation, which took place earlier this year.

They were able to respond online, in writing, via social media or by attending a public meeting. All of the comments which were made have now been independently analysed and weighted, and will be discussed at a meeting of the Suffolk and North East Essex Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee next Thursday (11 June).

Key themes to emerge included travel, transport and parking, along with the impact the proposal could have on patients and the quality of the service they receive. Finance, design and the environment were also mentioned, although with less frequency.

A total of 339 people responded to a closed question asking if they supported the proposal, with 121 – the equivalent of 36% – saying they did. The remaining 218 people (64%) said they did not.

Nick Hulme, ESNEFT chief executive, said:

“We are committed to listening to the views of our patients, carers, staff and communities, and were pleased that around 450 people took the time to respond to our consultation, attend a public meeting or comment on the proposal for our new elective care centre on social media.

“All of their feedback has been independently analysed and discussed by our stakeholders, and will now be considered in detail by the HOSC next week.

“The governing bodies of North East Essex and Ipswich and East Suffolk clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), will make a final decision on the proposal later in the summer.”

Plans for the elective care centre have been brought forward as part of ESNEFT’s “building for better care programme”.

If the £44m project goes ahead, its benefits would include:

  • a better experience for patients and carers,
  • fewer cancelled operations, as beds will be dedicated to planned orthopaedic surgery and could not be used by emergency patients,
  • shorter waits for surgery,
  • new and exciting ways of working, in turn helping to retain existing staff and attract new talent to ESNEFT and
  • increased capacity to treat all local people into the future.

Every patient would stay at the centre in Colchester while having their surgery, while all other care before and after the operation – such as x-rays, pre-assessments and physiotherapy – would be provided at either Colchester or Ipswich hospital, depending on which is closest to their home. Emergency orthopaedic surgery would also continue at the patient’s nearest hospital.

If the proposal goes ahead, the centre would have at least 48 inpatient beds and up to six specialist operating theatres, while a replacement day surgery unit would also be created at Colchester. It is expected the ECC would open in 2024/25.

For more information about the proposal, visit www.esneft.nhs.uk/publicconsultation

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