Discussions are well underway to find a successor to run Braintree Community Hospital.

At a meeting of Braintree Pensioners Action Group at Braintree Town Hall on Tuesday, Dr Bryan Spencer, vice chairman of Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, insisted talks had already begun with interested parties.

He said: “I can’t go into specifics for commercial reasons but yes, there are people in the frame.

“There are options locally and there are options further afield. We are in discussions.”

Concerns had previously been raised about how appealing the contract would be, given that Serco has struggled to make the hospital profitable and had not seen referral levels rise as expected.

See this week's Braintree Times for the full story