Giles Watling, Member of Parliament for Clacton, held productive talks about healthcare improvements with the new Accountable Officer for the North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Ed Garrett.

Dr Ed Garret replaces Sam Hepplewhite as the Accountable Officer for the North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group. The CCG is an NHS arm which commissions local health services and leads on transformation projects, such as Clacton Hospital.

In a wide-ranging conversation, Giles pushed on some of his long running campaigns including performance issues within the ACE GP surgeries, IVF funding, the upgrade of Clacton Hospital and the recruitment of new GP’s.

Giles said

“Back as a Councillor in 2014, I brought the then Health Minister, Dr Dan Poulter MP, to Clacton Hospital to visit the maternity unit and to make the case for a full 24/7 service.

"We know that people have real issues with local GP’s, certainly with the appalling telephony service with the ACE surgeries. Following almost a year of work, I am glad to see new performance measures being imposed and new investments being made to ensure greater GP capacity. I have received reassuring words of service improvements previously and now local residents deserve to receive tangible improvements in the service.

"I was also very pleased to see that the business case for the multi-million investment to turn Clacton Hospital into a full Primary Care hub is on track, and that the CCG agreed with me that further work is required on patient transport and mental health before we can fully proceed. Investments like this are just one reason to entice new and young GP’s to come to Clacton.

"I look forward to continuing to be that critical friend to make sure we deliver the investment that Clacton healthcare needs and deserves.”