The company pulling out of a contract to manage Braintree Community Hospital insists it is not under threat.

A number of patients had expressed concerns about the future of the Chadwick Drive hospital after Serco last month announced it wanted to cut short its agreement with Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) by three months, to December 2014.

Concerns about the hospital’s future intensified last month when it was confirmed that the integrated orthopaedic service, which offers tests and treatments for patients with complex musculoskeletal conditions, was being axed.

Braintree Pensioners Action Group said it was planning a protest over the uncertainty.

But the CCG played down the significance of the decision and insisted it remained committed to a range of services at the hospital.

That stance has now been reiterated by Serco.

Sharon Colclough, director of community services at the hospital, said: “I would like to reassure patients that the hospital is not closing."

See today's Braintree Times for the full story