A consultation has launched asking residents for their views on proposed changes to community urgent care services.

A 12-week consultation was launched by Redbridge, Barking and Dagenham and Havering’s Clinical Commissioning groups which asks questions on the way services are accessed in all three boroughs. The CCG’s are asking for opinions to change and improve local community urgent care services.

The consultation includes proposals for changes to local GP hubs, walk-in services, and GP Out of Hours services.

On Friday the 25th of August Havering’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) announced that they have secured a share of over £1.2 million funding from NHS England to recruit GPs from overseas. The local scheme will see 35 GP’s recruited to work in Havering, with hopes that the recruitment drive will help improve patient access to primary care services.

In the London borough of Barking and Dagenham there are over 40 surgeries that operate 5 days a week; alongside the availability of 3 advice surgeries for residents within the borough and in the neighbouring borough of Havering.

However, health care is becoming a growing issue across Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge [BHR]. Local Labour MP Jon Cruddas has recently spoken out about the cuts and reduction of services locally, highlighting that it is “becoming ever more difficult for residents to access good quality health care” in the local area.

The Heathway Medical Centre located on Broad Street in Dagenham has unfortunately failed to meet targets following a recent inspection by the Care Quality Commission. The GP practice has been ranked as ‘inadequate’ failing to meet any targets.

The main areas that are looked at during the CQC inspections are; safety, care quality, effectiveness, whether they are responsive and how well-led the facility is. They also look in-depth at specific areas of service such as elderly care, mental health care, families etc.

The practice has now been placed in special measures.

Last September a report highlighted that Barking and Dagenham had one of the lowest one-year cancer survival rates in our NHS England Local Region at 62 per cent. At the time of the report Havering was also just falling short of the UK average at 66 per cent.

Local MP for Dagenham and Rainham Jon Cruddas is keen to promote the importance of early diagnosis after learning that thirty per cent of deaths across the area each year are due to cancer.

Recently both Barking and Dagenham CCG and Havering CCG, the two clinical commissioning groups in the constituency, have been singled out by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) due to their failure to provide the number of IVF cycles that they claimed were available to their patients. While Barking and Dagenham CCG and Havering CCG advertise that their patients are have access to three rounds of IVF, the number recommended to maximize fertility, NICE has discovered that in practice the CCGs generally provide only one round.

A recent publication has shown cancer survival rates in the UK to be low in comparison to neighbouring countries in Europe. The average one-year survival rate for the UK is 68 per cent, as a country with a long established and respectable National Health Service these statistics are not as good as they should be. At the moment, the UK lags far behind its international and European neighbours in cancer survival. By 2020, almost half of people will receive a cancer diagnosis during their lifetime.