PROPOSED changes at Braintree Community Hospital should not take place before the public have had their say, a community group has said.

The Friends of Braintree Community Hospital has promised to hold the Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to account over the plans, the nature of which are currently not clear.

Proposals are believed to be changes to the use of beds within the Courtauld Ward - a 24-bed facility providing rehabilitation and end-of-life care for elderly patients.

A spokesman for the Friends of Braintree Community Hospital said: “Following productive discussions between the friends and the CCG regarding the significant changes proposed for the use of beds at Braintree Community Hospital, it has been agreed that there should be a public meeting to inform people and listen to concerns about the proposals.

“There may well be subsequent meetings after the first takes place as well.

“Further information of the details of the proposals we expect will be available very shortly.”

Concern has been raised about the timescale of proposals, with no official consultation period being announced.

The spokesman continued: “The first of the steps of the changes was initially proposed to take place at the end of September.

“We are hoping that the Mid Essex CCG will defer the changes until the public meetings have been held and people have had their say.

“We hope to work closely with the CCG, acting as a critical friend to the hospital. However if there are things we feel uncomfortable with we will certainly say so.”

The first meeting in Braintree is provisionally set to take place at October.

Details will follow soon.