POLITICIANS are hopeful the partnership with the Royal Free will bring speedy changes and a positive future to Basildon Hospital.

MPs welcomed yesterday’s announcement by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Stephen Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, said: “I think it’s very good news that the management team will be given help and support to accelerate the speed of change.

“This is about using the experience of people who have turned around hospitals to help Basildon. The partnership demonstrates a more open and transparent approach to problem-solving.”

Basildon and Billericay MP John Baron added: “Anything that can help bring improvements is good news, but I also have confidence in the management at Basildon Hospital.

“We can’t forget these are historic issues, so I’m confident about the future.

“We should all be prepared to learn at whatever stage we are in our careers and the Royal Free is a successful, well respected hospital, so hopefully the partnership will benefit the people of Basildon.”

Here’s what our readers said on Facebook:

Magic By Kev: “Maternity is good there, but care for the elderly is definitely not. I have a story from the last couple of months about a 93-year-old neighbour who was treated appallingly.

“Dehydrated nearly every day, dirty wards, dirty trays with his food on. One doctor between three wards, and nobody listened to him calling for help anytime night or day.

Danielle Tobit: “The hospital has a bad reputation, but I think that’s due to the amount of cuts the Government put on it.

“Saying that, the maternity department is absolutely amazing.I gave birth to my daughter there and they were amazing.”

Michele Wynne: “I attend Basildon Hospital three times a week and my care is always very good.”