Residents at a heated debate on the future of the hospital services asked the panel a range of searching questions

Q How will they take the public’s opinion on board if people don’t want this. Can and how can the plan affect the plans?

Tom Abell, deputy chief executive of Basildon, Southend and Broomfield hospitals:

The purpose of the consultation is to get your views on the proposals we’ve described. The output of this consultation process, including your views will go to the CCGs who will collectively make a decision based on all of the evidence available to them in terms of what they think is best in terms of the future of services for middle and south Essex.

Q Can we guarantee that the sustainability and transformation partnership are willing to invest the money(£118million) needed for the stroke intervention service, the 24-hour MRI scanning, the acute assessment teams because all the way through Dr Guyler’s presentation this was all a condition of if money is invested and here and now we need to know if this is going to go ahead because if not, where would we be with that plan?

Dr Celia Skinner, chief medical officer of the three hospitals:

Some capital has been identified for us by the Treasury and some of the stroke things around scanning are identified so getting an MRI which is an upgrade on a CT scanner as we’re doing at the moment is part of that £118million.

Q Explain the cost of transportation between the hospitals. Have you thought about the cost of this?

Ronan Fenton, medical director, Mid and South Essex Sustainability and Transformation Partnership:

“The inter-hospital transport system for stroke patients and for other patients between hospitals has been costed and is part of the costing plan. Repatriation of patients is part of the transport plan as well”

Q Can we have an assurance that if there is going to be a hype acute stroke unit at Basildon that actually the services remaining at Southend will give the gold standard – that is a 24-hour MRI assessment, a dedicated nurse and doctor 24 hours a day at Southend for those stroke patients coming in before they transfer.

Dr Skinner:

Yes that’s what we want. We want the best outcome. That’s why the clinicians have worked together. We want the people to have the right scan.

Q What about complex medical cases where there is several specialist care teams required?

Dr Skinner:

If they had complex needs we would make sure that specialist advise is available, either because those doctors already work at the hospital or because they can link in with doctors who work at other hospitals.”