HEALTH bosses have admitted more patients may be transported between specialist hospitals than previously thought.

The Mid and South Essex Sustainability and Transformation Partnership had previously said only 15 patients a day would be transferred between local hospitals and planned specialist centres such as a hyper acute stroke unit and a specialist emergency centre at Basildon Hospital.

However, the partnership has said it is now expected about 25 patients a day will be moved between Southend, Basildon and Broomfield Hospitals leading to fears over delays for seriously ill patients transported on busy roads.

Freddie Dawkins, a member of the Burges Estate Residents’ Association said: “Until now, members of the Southend Health and Wellbeing Board have been told that an overwhelming majority of patients will be treated at Southend Hospital. The number of patients being transferred was estimated to be approximately 15 per day moving between hospitals.

“There are now expected to be approximately 25 patients per day, moving between hospitals.”

Mr Dawkins, 66, from Thorpe Bay has been an active member of a campaign group which has successfully fought attempts to downgrade Southend and Broomfield A&Es.

He added: “We also heard that there are no arrangements in place for patients needing to be transferred to another hospital. The STP is continuing discussions with the East of England Ambulance Service to reach an agreement.”

“Residents need all the relevant information before they can submit a response, but this is clearly not going to happen.

“They need to save £400million and they are £300million in debt.

“Why can’t they just tell the truth and say we’re not happy about it but it’s going to happen?”

Dr Ronan Fenton, Medical Director, Mid and South Essex Sustainability and Transformation Partnership said current figures given were based on “estimates and averages”.

He added: “During a discussion with members of the Southend Health and Wellbeing board I acknowledged those figures could vary daily depending on each person’s individual care needs and indeed may be slightly higher, particularly at certain times of year.

“I described how we are continuing to work with clinical colleagues during the consultation on the most appropriate criteria for transfer and this includes auditing real patient records to help check our estimates.”