CAMPAIGNERS are renewing their efforts to get a new health centre in Shoebury.
Shoebury Residents’ Association is pushing for NHS officials to take plans for a primary care centre off the back burner, so patients don’t have to face a 13-mile round trip to Southend Hospital.
Association vice-chairman Harry Chandler, a former chairman of patients’ group, Southend Link, said: “We want a primary care centre which would allow Shoebury residents the same facilities as those in Leigh, Westcliff and Canvey.
“A lot of people here have to go to the hospital, particularly the elderly and disadvantaged, who don’t have transport. They frequently have to use taxis to get backand forth.”
NHS South East Essex was considering the case for a centre before it was disbanded last year under the latest round of Government NHS reforms.
The scheme was sidelined when NHS England and the local clinical commissioning group took over.
Similar care centre plans for St Luke’s Ward were also hit, though awalk-in centre is still running in the area between 8am and 8pm, using a temporary building in Pantile Avenue.
Now the residents’ association is drawing up a report setting out the case for a walk-in centre offering out-of-hours GP cover in Shoebury,which it will present to NHS England.
Mr Chandler, 78, of Leitrim Avenue, Shoebury, said: “It would take some pressure off the hospital, which is having problems with the workload it gets at accident and emergency.
“Many residents thought they had been promised a primary care centre and were very disappointed when one wasn’t created.”
A NHS England Essex spokesmansaid:“We are developing a primary care strategy for Essex.
“Wewill shortly, alongside clinical commissioning groups, be sharing these strategic plans through a number of public engagement and consultation events.
“We are committed to ensuring that all patients have access to local, high-quality services.”