SO the closure of Orsett Hospital has been confirmed.

It’s an emotive issue obviously. Politicians have stoked fears about services being lost and people going short.

On the face of it no-one likes to hear about hospitals closing.

But are fears justified?

The fact is Orsett Hospital is an ageing building, which many people argue is no longer fit for purpose.

The plan now is to build new medical centres within the borough and in Basildon and Brentwood too.

The idea is for a host of essential healthcare services to be moved to better equipped, more modern facilities.

A main concern has been residents worried about having to travel further for their care.

Well Tom Abell, deputy chief executive for the hospital, has put his neck on the line and said: “The services people currently rely on in Thurrock will stay in Thurrock.”

No grey areas there.

And he promised services (currently at the hospital) will be readily available elsewhere before the hospital is closed. One of the other main concerns.

And the idea of a ‘people’s panel’ in the transformation process for this is to be encouraged too. It’s important everyday people get involved in something which affects so many lives.

So, if what Mr Abell has revealed is right it would seem Thurrock families will soon be getting a better deal than before. And this is what matters.