A MOVE which could see health and social care services under one roof has been hailed a positive move.
The Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group has suggested creating a network of ‘Live Well Hubs’ which will provide healthcare services in one place.
Hubs are proposed for Witham, Braintree, Maldon and Chelmsford with a fifth one potentially on the cards for Halstead.
They would bring the NHS, local councils and voluntary services together so neighbourhoods can access services.
The services will offer health advice from birth, to understanding health needs at an old age, to end of life care.
She said: “It’s such early days yet, we don’t know much about how it will work or where it will be placed, but there needs to be somewhere where people have self control over their health.
“I’m very supportive as this is about transformational change, making sure we can retain services and if that means greater collaboration it is a good thing."
She said if a hub was to be introduced it would attract more GPs working in the city.
“I would imagine it would help GPs work together using the idea of social prescription, meaning instead of just prescribing tablets they can suggest lifestyle changes, for example more exercise,” she said.
Witham MP Priti Patel also supported the proposal.
She said: “The integration of health and other services to support better patient outcomes is welcome.
"I expect the CCG to develop proposals that provide services that suit the needs of local communities across the Witham constituency.
"The focus on developing Live Well Hubs also reinforces the need for the CCG to deliver a multipurpose healthcare centre in Witham.
"This would be an ideal location for these services to be delivered from and where all agencies can work together to improve the health of local residents.”
Bill Rose, Town Mayor, supported a preventative approach.
He said: "This is a positive thing as there is no service in between someone feeling unwell and going to the doctors.
"If people are able to improve their lifestyle it will have an affect on their health."
Dan Doherty, Director of Clinical Commissioning at Mid Essex CCG, said: “The Live Well hubs are part of a call to action for people across mid Essex. "We want to harness the power of our communities for the benefit of everyone’s health and well-being.
“We are very excited about the positive changes that Live Well will bring to people living in our area.”