Mandy Ansell sets out the CCG's vision for Thurrock’s health and care system

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Orsett Hospital 10 Facts poster

There has been much news and debate around the recent decision to close Orsett Hospital, speaking about the decision and what this means for people in Thurrock, Mandy Ansell, Accountable Officer for Thurrock CCG said:

“What we are looking at in Thurrock is really improving what we have now. You will be offered the services you currently access, but in newer, purpose built buildings that will provide not just healthcare, but social, mental health and community services all under one roof and closer to home.

“Back in 2016, we first spoke about our vision for Thurrock, under the banner ‘For Thurrock in Thurrock’. Healthcare services then were not providing what people wanted. At that time there was no suggestion or plans to close existing estates, like Orsett Hospital. We genuinely wanted to transform health and care. We asked you how you wanted healthcare to change. What we heard during our conversations with people were; people wanted facilities closer to home, including the provision of local beds, blood test and x-ray and better access to GPs and primary care.

“We are already on the way to meeting these aims; there are 24 new beds in Thurrock Community Hospital for people who need some extra support, who need to stay in hospital for recovery or to regain strength. We’ve already begun to improve GP facilities. There are extended teams now working in many GP practices that can help you, including paramedics, pharmacists and Physician Associates (who provide a prescribing service for every day health problems).

“We are investing in Thurrock and our vision, we are doing this in partnership with all our providers. Bringing the vision of the Integrated Medical Centres to life is now our priority. We have a strong base from which to start having taken the time to plan out what would be needed for each locality area. We want to get this right and make sure the integrated centres will be fit for now and for the future growth expected in Thurrock as wellbeing flexible enough to cope with changes in technology and practice.

“Our vision for the Integrated Medical Centres is where if you have a health or social care problem, you only need to tell your story once. You can visit a local centre, see a healthcare professional or outpatient service, have a blood test under the same roof. If you need emotional support, we are looking at providing mental health therapists. If you have a muscle problem, there may be an opportunity to visit a physiotherapist onsite. With a mobile X-ray machine available in at least two sites, you won’t have to travel far to have an x-ray.

“For urgent health problems, there will be an urgent care centre, we are testing this idea with a GP and minor injuries all in one place, so if you need help urgently you can get this within Thurrock. It’s likely that this will be offered on the Thurrock Community Hospital site.

“To help us ensure we meet the needs of people use the services, Healthwatch Thurrock is supporting this by pulling together an independent ‘People’s Panel’. This was recommended by them as check and balance to the plans. The panel will analyse plans already in place and help to shape plans which are less well developed.

“Finally to reassure you, none of this will happen overnight. Buildings that will replace Orsett Hospital will take time to build and the services that will go in them will not all move at once. In the Autumn, we hope to share the plans for the first of the new Centres in Tilbury. We will update you as often as we can on developments, but we expect everything to be on offer by 2021.”

“Let’s see this decision as the middle of the journey we are already on to transform health and care in Thurrock. By working together with our Council, Community and other health partners our ambition is that Thurrock will have a better and much improved health and care offer that will be envy of other areas.”

To view a video of the decisions around Orsett Hospital from Tom Abell, Deputy Chief Executive of Basildon Hospital, view this here:

70 years strong!

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Tea graphic 3 2In 2020, I’ll have been working within the NHS for 30 years! I am so proud of the achievements of this organisation as we celebrate our 70th Birthday. A career in the NHS is one that can take you into all sorts of roles and life experiences, as long as you are prepared to commit. I started life as a physiotherapist, then moved in to management roles.

I’ve seen the NHS evolve into what it is today and we will continue to evolve to meet the needs of our population.

One thing you can be sure of is that every member of staff working in the NHS, from paramedic to pharmacist, or ward sister to commissioner, has a sense of pride and a commitment to provide the very best for patients. Everyone that works in the NHS is concerned about people and making things better.

In Thurrock we are already making changes to the way we work, no longer do we work separately to our social care, community and voluntary sector colleagues. By working together we are able to provide services that wrap around you, and are local to home, not just focused on big buildings and care that you have to fit into, not that fits around you.

On 5th July, raise a cuppa to celebrate the 70 years of achievements already under our belt and look forward to our next 70 years! 

Mandy Ansell is Accountable Officer for Thurrock Clinical Commissioning Group.

Motto: It’s never dull!

To read more on NHS at 70, visit:

Thurrock CCG is hosting a Big 7Tea Party on Thursday 12 July at 10am to 12pm to celebrate and share memories. Join us at Community House, Seabrook Rise, Grays for tea, cake and health stalls.

Mandy Ansell – Life in the fast lane! blog 2

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The latest blog from Thurrock CCG's Accountable Officer, Mandy Ansell, looks back to our engagement event held in early March and looks forward to plans for primary care in Tilbury and Grays.


As we near the financial year end and begin to take stock of our last year, we can look back at an incredibly busy time. I’m particularly proud of our achievements in primary care and forging links with our community providers. But I’m also excited for the next years ahead as we start to see our plans to transform health and care in Thurrock come to life. We are being asked to share, with other areas in Essex, how we are giving local people a model of care that really is person centred.

Success Regime pic 1

This month has as usual been very busy. We held an engagement day on 02 March at the Beehive, where we were able to tell people how much work has gone on behind the scenes to bring the For Thurrock in Thurrock vision in to reality. Look out for the next issue of the magazine for information on Accountable Care Partnerships in Tilbury. We’ve worked with care agencies to close an out-of-date ward and bring new intermediate beds for people back into Thurrock. These beds will be excellent in helping to unblock our hospitals, and giving care to people who aren’t quite well enough to be at home but don’t need a hospital bed. We also spoke about the Success Regime and what’s coming next for hospital services.

If you live in Tilbury and Grays, we are talking to people about our ideas to improve primary care services in Thurrock. Our GP Forward View will see us bringing GP practices together with one provider, to offer patient sustainable, quality care and to say goodbye to buildings that are no longer fit for modern medicine. Coming up next month we’ll be in Tilbury locality to talk about the new Integrated Healthy Living Centres, giving people a chance to have their say on what their new primary care service will offer. Watch this space for a chance to comment on the proposals!

Mandy Ansell (Accountable Officer) Blog
Motto: “Never lose your sense of humour!”

Mandy Ansell – Life in the fast lane!

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welcome to the first blog from out Accountable Officer, Mandy Ansell! 


Welcome to my new blog. Its mid-February already and I’ve been confirmed as the permanent Accountable Officer for the Thurrock CCG! For me it’s business as usual and I’ve been working hard with colleagues to give Thurrock people the best possible health and care experience we can. But, as any other person in the NHS will tell you, these times are anything but usual!

My day starts with an overview of how our local hospitals are managing under winter pressures, dealing with any crises that maybe occurring in our health services and working to ensure Thurrock’s NHS is fit now and for the future.

We are weathering winter pressures in Thurrock and our Health Hubs are helping to relieve pressure on out-of-hours services. There are four hubs in Thurrock offering out-of-hours GP/Nurse appointments Monday to Friday 6.30pm – 8.30pm and at weekends 9am – 12pm. Thanks to additional funding they will continue to do this until the end of March. We hope to prove how useful the out of hours appointments have been in preventing unnecessary attendance at A&E; and enabling patients to have routine appointments outside the regular 8am-6pm hours.

I lead a team of extraordinarily committed people who work to ensure we get the best out of our health providers and support those who need to improve. The next few months will be telling as we report on our work for the last year and await confirmation on our budget for the coming financial year. You may already know, but we are part of the Essex Success Regime, which means we are one of three special areas to get intensive support to change our services to meet the needs of a modern society. In 2016, we asked our local people what health services matter to them the most and now we will be sharing plans for change to the way our three hospitals work. We are moving on at pace with our initiatives for the GP forward view and For Thurrock in Thurrock, If you haven’t seen the latest newsletter please do take a look as there’s lots to feel proud about. All this change and partnership working across health, primary care and social care is part of a wider Sustainability and Transformation plan, which is happening across the NHS.

I’ll be back in a month or so to tell you more, but a personal message from me, we can see things improving in Thurrock with lots to celebrate and look forward to. I think my uplifting photos of our wonderful river views in Thurrock say it all!

Mandy Ansell (Accountable Officer) Blog

Motto: “Never lose your sense of humour!”