HOSPITALS have welcomed new Government funding as the biggest boost they have received in a decade.
This week the Echo reported £90million extra funding for hospitals in mid and south Essex.
The cash is set to boost modernisation plans, which will see a range of specialist services across Southend, Basildon and Broomfield Hospitals.
Clare Panniker, chief executive of the three hospitals, said: “Although we are still working through all of the detail this could represent the most significant investment into mid and south Essex for almost a decade.
“This is an important step in the work we have been doing to develop proposals to secure and improve the care we provide for our population in the future.
“It will help us to improve the quality of the facilities in which we care for patients, helping to bring clinical areas up to modern standards.”
Ms Panniker added: “It does not mean the decision on services has been made. There is still a lot of work to do, including the full public consultation launched last week where our communities have the opportunity to tell us their views to help us build a model of hospital care which provides the very best outcomes for local people.”
The plans include a hyper-acute stroke unit at Basildon Hospital which already has a specialist cardiac care unit. A specialist A&E department is also planned for the hospital.
Southend will keep its cancer unit and will carry out more elective surgery.
All three hospitals will keep their A&Es and stroke units, with only the most serious cases transported to Basildon.
The new funding will be made available through business cases for different schemes once the final decisions on the model of care has been made following the conclusion of the public consultation.