Health, social care and community services in Thurrock are being transformed with the creation of four new integrated medical centres (IMC), and the first is due to start building work in the new year.
The NHS has teamed up with Thurrock Council, the voluntary sector and the local community to improve the health and wellbeing of people in the area by bringing community, social and health care services under one roof and closer to people’s homes. The brand new facilities will be staffed by NHS, council and community workers and volunteers who will work together to ensure the growing population in Thurrock receive better care, support and outcomes, now and in the future.
The IMCs will provide a range of services including mental health, outpatient care and specialist clinical services. Not only will the new centres aim to improve waiting times to see a GP or specialist health professional, they will also reduce the number of people who have to attend or be admitted to hospital in an emergency.
The first of the four IMCs is being built in Corringham, and is being funded by North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT) which provides community care and mental health services for children and young people in Essex, Kent and London.. Building work is being completed by Neilcott Construction Group and will start early in 2021, with the centre due to open in spring 2022.
Stephanie Dawe, Executive Director of Integrated Care, NELFT, said: “We’re delighted to soon be starting the building work for a new integrated medical centre for the people of Thurrock and particularly in Corringham.
“Our transformation programme in Thurrock really keeps the needs of the community at its heart and, by developing a new centre in Corringham, we’re ensuring everyone in the area will have easy access to the healthcare and social services they need. Together with our health and social care and community partners, we’re creating a 21st century facility that will provide a range of healthcare and support under one roof, including GPs, community-based healthcare and mental health care, and community services.
“Now more than ever the NHS needs to look at different - and better - ways of delivering care, and our NHS staff and health, social care and community teams will be able to provide better, more joined up care to local people in these new centres.
“Corringham IMC is being built close to Graham James School, so we have been and will continue to work closely with the local community, including the school, local businesses and GPs, to make sure this new facility meets the needs of the local area and the residents of Thurrock.”
The IMCs are part of the Better Care Together Thurrock transformation programme which is being delivered by local NHS trusts and organisations, Thurrock Council and Thurrock Community Voluntary Service to address and improve the health and wellbeing of everyone living and working in Thurrock.
Councillor Alan Mayes, Cabinet Member for Health and Air Quality at Thurrock Council, said: “The last six months have demonstrated to all of us just how important public health is. The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly shown that we should take care of the entire communities’ health needs to keep all of us safe and well.
“Thurrock Council and our partners remain committed to developing the IMCs to ensure that we have state of the art medical centres in the heart of the borough’s communities and close to home.
“Engagement events will continue to be held with residents where each of the centres will be built and we’ll also be offering residents a chance to help name the centres - more on that in the coming months.”
As well as Corringham, three more IMCs will be opened in Tilbury/Chadwell, Purfleet and Grays, with each offering a GP service, blood testing, mental health care and a range of other treatments, clinics and community services. One centre will also have an urgent care facility.
Virtual engagement events will be held soon for the local community to find out more about the centres and ask questions to the organisations involved. To find out more information about the IMCs or the Better Care Together Thurrock programme, please visit: www.bettercaretogetherthurrock.org
Notes to editors
- Better Care Together is a transformation programme for and by the people of Thurrock, and includes the following partners; North East London Foundation Trust, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Thurrock Clinical Community Group, Thurrock Council and Thurrock CVS (Community Voluntary Services)
- Healthcare services that are currently provided at Orsett Hospital will be transferring to the four integrated medical centres, but Orsett Hospital will remain open and operational until all four centres are built