New centre of excellence for older people proposed in Havering

Last week the Havering Clinical Commissioning Group unveiled a proposal for a new centre of excellence for older people as part of the redevelopment plan for St. George's hospital in Hornchurch. The news comes as part of a 12 week public consultation which begun on 18th February 2013. The local clinical commissioning group (CCG) which represents family doctors in Havering is leading the consultation period because GPs will be in charge of much of the local NHS budget from April this year under the government's NHS reforms. The consultation period is open to the public and is asking for people's views concerning the redevelopment of the hospital.

Local MP Jon Cruddas sees the redevelopment of the site as a great opportunity to create something really positive for the local community, and a step in the right direction for local healthcare. Proposals for the centre of excellence include a new health centre, a GP practice and an on-site assessment centre offering specialist tests and clinics such as ultrasound, screening and blood tests.

Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham (incorporating Elm Park and South Hornchurch) has been running an extended campaign for more investment into local healthcare spanning across his constituency.

Jon Cruddas commented: "This proposal comes as positive news amidst the recent cuts to healthcare, and the latest CQC report that slammed A&E services at Queen's. Following closures to inpatient services at St. Georges and damaging cutbacks to local clinics it is now more than ever that we need investment like this and I commend the work being done.

"With very few local clinics in the Havering side of my constituency many residents have to travel further afield to Queen's, King Georges and Basildon Hospitals to receive care. I think it is great to see the limited NHS resources that are available being utilised in Havering."

Havering GP and CCG Chair, Dr Atul Aggarwal said:

"We want local people to get the health and social care they need as easily and conveniently as possible, closer to home rather than in a hospitals or a care home.

"By building a brand new facility on the St George's site we could accommodate community health, social care and voluntary services in one place."