A NEW community hospital in Thurrock costing £53 million has been given the go-ahead.
East of England NHS - the strategic health authority responsible for deciding future healthcare needs in the region - has approvedplans submitted by NHS South West Essex.
East of England NHS agreed that current community hospital and healthcare facilities in Thurrock restricted patient choice and were not capable of meeting future population pressures.
The hospital will be located on land on the northern fringe of Grays town centre. Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation has assumed responsibility for site assembly. Some of the land has already been purchased and the Corporation is in negotiation with other land owners to secure the whole site.
Barbara Stuttle, deputy chief executive of South West Essex Primary Care Trust said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to be able to develop 21st Century healthcare facilities which will enable us to provide high quality services to the population of Thurrock.
"This will become the flagship for modern healthcare in a modern facility provided by excellent staff.”
Tom Gardiner, director of delivery at the Development Corporation said: “A new health facility in Grays will make a massive contribution towards the development corporation’s goal of providing modern community infrastructure for the people of Thurrock. "The site will provide a superb location and with appropriate development will make a significant visual statement at the northern gateway to the town.”
Plans for the hospital were originally put forward in 2006 and were updated by the Primary care Trust in July 2008. It is expected include diagnostic services such X-ray, ultrasound and phlebotomy. There will also a community walk-in and minor injury unit, sexual health service, outpatient services, endoscopy, women and children’s services, intermediate and rehabilitation care as well as dental and pharmacy services.