Health secretary Jeremy Hunt talks about patient care during visit to Broomfield Hospital

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt with Mid Essex Hospital Trust chairman Nick Alston. Picture: MEHT

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt with Mid Essex Hospital Trust chairman Nick Alston. Picture: MEHT - Credit: Archant

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt visited Broomfield Hospital today to speak about patient care.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt at Broomfield Hospital. Picture: MEHT

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt at Broomfield Hospital. Picture: MEHT - Credit: Archant

The senior minister met teams at the Mid Essex Hospital Trust (MEHT) to learn about work to improve care quality and safety, and spoke about the role of the Care Quality Commission.

The visit was picketed by around 30 members of the Defend our NHS Chelmsford campaign, who are concerned over plans to merge the Mid Essex, Southend and Basildon hospital trusts into a single organisation.

Protestors from the Defend our NHS Chelmsford campaign picket Broomfield Hospital ahead of a visit b

Protestors from the Defend our NHS Chelmsford campaign picket Broomfield Hospital ahead of a visit by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT - Credit: Archant

Mr Hunt said: “There is some fantastic work going on at Broomfield to improve patient safety and it was a great opportunity to meet staff ‎and hear about their initiatives.

“It’s been a challenging winter but the trust’s hard work to create the Emergency Village and Frailty Ward to support A&E shows how the whole hospital is taking responsibility to improve patient safety and flow.”

Nick Alston, MEHT chairman, added: “We were delighted to welcome Mr Hunt to our trust in order to hear about patient safety from a national perspective.

“It was a wonderful opportunity for us to share the results of our dedicated teams’ work to ensure the safety of our patients.”

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Andy Abbott, co-ordinator for the Defend Our NHS Chelmsford campaign, said: “We wanted to send a message loud and clear that we are against the merger. We feel this is going to put patients’ safety at risk and it will mean patients have to travel much further for health care.

“This is not being clinically driven, this is being driven by the insistence of Mr Hunt that local hospitals make £400million of cuts.”

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