Loughton Residents Association


NHS and Local Health matters

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Find out about services

Future Plans

Whipps Cross Hospital

Queens Hospital, Romford

Have your say

Existing Services

Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow

Local Hospices

NHS report by LRA Cllr Chris Pond (December 2015)
Full Report. In summary:

  • Whipps Cross Hospital improvement plan after CQC criticisms
  • West Essex and NE London Stroke Pathways - plan to centralise treatment provided in Barking, Havering, and Redbridge at Queen's and to devolve rehab services.
  • NHS London estate plans - public consultation about the Whipps Cross site, including a major development, with land release.
Princess Alexandra Hospital (December 2015)
Latest Board papers

Whipps Cross Hospital
(December 2015)
Barts progress report after the CQC criticisms.

Princess Alexandra Hospital (December 2015)

  • LRA Cllr Chris Pond is following up reports that the hospital left out of the Essex-wide improvement regime. More
  • The latest CQC report is at - verdict: “Requires Improvement”.
  • Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust plans bed closures due to its being "unviable clinically" as well as financially. More (page 29)
Princess Alexander sign
Loughton Health Centre (December 2015)
Patients Group minutes. Next Meeting Wednesday February 17th, 7.30pm

Stroke services (October 2015)
LRA Cllr Chris Pond is our “link” with the health services in Essex and NE London. He recently questioned Clare Morris of West Essex CCG about the intended move of the stroke services at Harlow to the centre of excellence at Queens Hospital, Romford, which should result in much better life expectancy for stroke patients. The change won’t directly affect Loughton residents as anyone suffering a stroke here will still be taken to the London Chest Hospital.

However, recuperative care now provided at Epping will move to Harlow, to concentrate the provision of specialist care - Chris is satisfied that the loss of convenient travel for Loughton residents will be outweighed by the better prospects provided for stroke sufferers.

Flu jab (October 2015)
We’re told that you can get the jab in Boots in the High Road if you’re over 65. Otherwise contact your surgery – don’t leave it too late.

Loughton Health Centre, The Drive (September 2015)

  • LHC will become a Hub from September/October for Out of Hours Services every Saturday, 8am - 8pm for four Practices; 80% will be booked appointments and 20% walk- in’s (this provision will be reviewed after a year).
  • The Co-op‌ pharmacy will open on Saturdays, 8am to mid-day.
  • Patients will no longer get text messages reminding them of their appointments.

Princess Alexandra Hospital Board papers (September 2015)
This includes CQC inspection results, and a first-time mother’s report on poor care – and what’s been done to improve things.

Specialist Community Ambassadors who are D/deaf or hard of hearing
(September 2015)
If you'd like to help Essex Healthwatch improve experiences of health and care services, please get in touch
(Call 01376 572829 or email them

Improving stroke care
(September 2015)
NHS West Essex CCG wants your views on their plans for improving urgent stroke care.

Mental health - some-one you know (September 2015)

1 in 4 people will have problems with mental health at some time in their life. Find out more about help and support available.

Princess Alexandra Board Hospital papers  (September 2015)

Problems at Whipps Cross Hospital (July 2015)

  • The District Council Overview & Scrutiny Committee invited hospital representatives to answer questions about the recent report of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on its ‘inadequate’ judgement of the quality of care at Whipps Cross Hospital. See the report (item 5)
  • Board agendas & minutes

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals (July 2015)
NHS Trust is to remain in special measures. The Trust was originally inspected by the CQC in October 2013, when serious failures in the quality of care and concerns about management were highlighted – the Trust asserts improvements have now been made.

Queen's Hospital Romford (July 2015)
Latest CQC report

Loughton Health Centre (June 2015)
Patients newsletter

Never events” 4/14 – 3/15 (June 2015)
Two at Princess Alexandra; 2 at Barts NHS trust (of which Whipps Cross is part). More

Lifestyle Essex phone app  (June 2015)
This has been launched by Essex County Council with advice on healthy living, including smoking, weight management, mental health and physical activity. More

Whipps Cross Hospital  (June 2015)
June Board Papers are now available online

Update on NHS Care in West Essex, including Princess Alexandra Hospital (Mary 2015)
More (Item 6)

Complaints Handling in the Health Service in Essex (Mary 2015)
More (Item 8)

Whipps Cross Hospital Inspection Report (Mary 2015)

Child mental health services (Mary 2015)
A District Council committee recently looked at the problems of fragmented services in the area, and what’s being done about it. Minutes (pages 1 - 5 & 13 – 20) with Summary and webcast

Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow, Board Report
(Mary 2015)
More and more

St Clare Hospice (March 2015)
Satellite clinic in Loughton for any-one in the District with a life-threatening illness. Based at Traps Hill surgery every Friday (9.30am – 4pm). More

Family member hard-of-hearing? (March 2015)
See your GP about getting discreet free NHS hearing aids at St Margaret’s Hospital, Epping.

Loughton Health Centre, The Drive (March 2015)
Read the latest Patients Group minutes. The next meeting is Wednesday April 29th 2015 at 7.30pm.  Recent changes include:

  • one doctor will be conducting routine booked appointments until 6. 30 p.m.
  • one doctor will be available for booked emergency appointments until 6.30 p.m.
  • there will be an additional 6 daily appointments available with each full time doctor.
  • LHC is the only local Practice open for appointments on Saturdays.

Traps Hill surgery (March 2015)
We understand that at the end of this month the Loughton High Road Surgery is taking over the practice; Dr Sebastian is staying. Eventually the High Road surgery will close and the GP there will move to Traps Hill, which will change its name to the Loughton Surgery.  Letter to patients

Whipps Cross Hospital (March 2015)
Barts Health NHS Trust has been placed in special measures following the publication of a Care Quality Commission (CQC) report into Whipps Cross. The CQC identified a number of areas where significant improvements are required. LRA Cllr Chris Pond has asked for the Chief Executive of Barts to be summoned to appear before the April meeting of the Joint Health Scrutiny Committee to explain what’s happening.

Have you been to A&E in Essex? (February 2015)
If you’ve a recent experience of A&E in Essex to share, good or bad, let Healthwatch Essex know. More

Blood donors (February 2015)
The NHS urgently needs you to roll up your sleeves. Blood stocks are lower than they'd like. Please call 0300 123 2323. NHS Blood Service on Twitter

Find out about local NHS services & News (February 2015)

Don’t wait till you need a doctor! (February 2015)
If you’re not registered with a GP, go to your nearby surgery & ask to become a patient. Find your nearest surgery

NHS: give your views please (February 2015)

  • Varicose veins: If you've used varicose veins services in Harlow, Epping Forest or Uttlesford, West Essex CCG would like your feedback about them. Questionnaire
  • Draft Personality Disorder Strategy 2015 – 2017 – Adults. Give your views. More and More

Patients Group, Loughton Health Centre, The Drive (January 2015)
Latest meeting minutes

New Whipps Cross University Hospital home care service (January 2015)

Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow (January 2015)
Board papers
Essex County Council would like your views on
: (January 2015)

  • health and social care services for frail, older people and those with a long term health need. More
  • deferring payments for residential or nursing costs. More

For support in completing either of these surveys, call 01376 572829 10am - 2pm, Monday - Friday.

Muscle, skeleton & joint services in West Essex (January 2015)
West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which plans and buys health and care services on behalf of people in Harlow, Epping Forest and Uttlesford, is asking patients to share their experiences of muscle, joint and bone (musculoskeletal) services as part of a wide-reaching service review. If you’re 16 or over and have received care in orthopaedics, rheumatology, pain management, physiotherapy or podiatry, please complete a short questionnaire to help shape the future of the service.

Essex County Council survey - health and social care services for frail, older people & those with a long term health need (January 2015)
Share your experiences and opinions by January 4th to help improve and redesign services. More (select Better Care Fund consultation on joining up health and social care service).

There is more to your NHS than just A&E (November 2014)

  • the NHS have produced a map of Epping Forest District with information about the whole range of NHS services available on your doorstep, including how to contact NHS 111 & out-of-hours services. More
  • Alternatively, search for your local services.

Princes Alexandra Hospital, Harlow: meeting of the Board of Directors (October 2014)
Agenda papers and minutes of last meeting (which show what’s happening)  

Flu Clinics (October 2014)
Loughton Health Centre will be running flu-vaccinations clinics for registered patients on Saturdays 11th & 18th October. For appointments call 020 8502 5000.

  • If you are housebound, a home visit will be arranged.
  • If your job requests that you have it, your work place must offer it to you via their own occupational health system.
  • If you’re registered elsewhere, please contact your practice.

Who is eligible? More

Princess Alexandra Hospital (October 2014)

  • Children’s Emergency Department: a brand-new area has opened, offering a much larger and friendlier environment for patients under age 17. It has received a very high demand in its first week; please note that it’s for urgent cases only – GPs, walk-in centres, pharmacies and the 111 telephone service can help in other instances.
  • Board report and Performance review. More (see page 46 for the Performance Review)

What does Healthwatch Essex actually do? (October 2014)
It’s the independent consumer champion for health and social care. Find out more then click on Healthwatch Essex Strategic Body Meeting - 9 September 2014 and open the document at item 5.

NHS specialist cancer and cardiovascular services
The final decision on proposals to improve specialist cancer and cardiovascular services in north and east London and west Essex. More

The Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust has been identified as having financial problems without an adequate recovery plan. More

The Traps Hill Surgery
The NHS have asked us to let you know about the plans for the surgery - their statement is as follows:

As the current contract for Traps Hill practice comes to an end on 31 March 2015, NHS England has been working hard to find a new provider for this service. We are pleased to confirm High Road Loughton Practice will provide the service in partnership with some of the existing clinical staff at Traps Hill practice from 1 April 2015.

Whilst there remain some contractual matters to resolve, we would like to assure patients there are no plans for the surgery to close or for patients to be moved to other local practices. This will ensure continuity of service for all patients at both practices. Regular updates will continue to be provided to patients whilst this process is ongoing.


For specific information about local NHS services, NHS Choices provides online postcode-specific contact information and opening times for NHS healthcare providers such as GP out-of-hours services, A&E, pharmacies and walk-in centres and minor injuries units.
Patients in pain or with other urgent dental needs should ring either their practice or NHS Direct (website or on 0845 4647) for assessment of need and advice on how to access care urgently if required.
A number of community pharmacies will be open over holiday periods so that people can get the medicines they need. In addition, the pharmacist is ideally placed to act as the first point of call for many minor ailments and illnesses.

NHS reviews.
The Dr Foster site reviews NHS performance. For example, search for Whipps Cross Hospital or Princess Alexandra Hospital. The Dr Foster site is a useful source of information for any lay person locally keen to see good practice in our NHS services.

Alcohol Group
NHS LINk Mental Health and Substance Misuse (MHSM) Theme Group – alcohol sub-group: Anyone who would like to be involved in this county wide group should contact Gabriela Horecka at LINk on 01245 490 733 or Gabriela.horecka@essexandsouthendlink.org.uk

The West Essex Alzheimer’s Society is funded by Essex County Council (ECC).  In June 2010 NHS West Essex funded a Dementia Advisor Service. In the Epping Forest district the service has seen 116 carers and 94 people registered with dementia and they are seen at St Margaret’s Hospital. The service (provided from Princess Alexandra Hospital) has 80 carers and 64 people registered with dementia. The service is liaising with the new GP Consortia regarding future funding and making sure that contact information is up to date with all GP surgeries.

Disability Equality Involvement Group.
This group meets six times a year to help the District Council with its work to achieve a fairer and more understanding environment for disabled people to live and work in. To find out more about the work of the group contact Barbara Copson on 01992 564042 or at equality@eppingforestdc.gov.uk.

Prostate cancer group
Contact John Woods (020 8508 1764; proactivegroup@ntlworld.com ) for information on Proactive (a local men's prostate cancer self-help group)


Does your doctors’ surgery have a patients group ?

Forest Practice (Pyrles Lane)

Loughton Health Centre (The Drive)
We’re happy to publicise such groups. If you know the website address, just email it to us.

NHS problem – or praise?  
The PEBL website is there for you to share your story and your opinions about the NHS in Essex anonymously. No need to register. Just click & go on a computer or a mobile phone. PEBL sends your comments to the people who can make a difference – the managers and service providers who run the local NHS.

Healthwatch England website.
Healthwatch is the new NHS consumer champion network.

Personal health budgets easy read leaflet published. 
Personal health budgets is one of the ideas that the NHS is working on to try to make it easier for people to get the NHS care that is best suited to them. 


Ambulance Service ‘ICE’ (In Case of Emergency) Campaign.
 Store the number of a contact person or persons who should be contacted during emergency under the name 'ICE' (In Case of Emergency) in your mobile phone. In an emergency situation, Emergency Service personnel and hospital staff will be able to quickly contact the right person by simply dialling the number you have stored as 'ICE'. For more than one contact name simply enter ICE1, ICE2 and ICE3 etc. This is internationally recognised.

Protect yourself against seasonal flu 
People most at risk of developing serious complications from seasonal flu are being urged to take advantage of a free jab.  Applies particularly to adults and children aged six months to 65 years who are in ‘at risk’ categories, including pregnant women, as well as to people aged 65 and over. Even if you had the seasonal flu vaccine last year you need a new seasonal flu jab this winter. Talk to your local GP, practice nurse or pharmacist to find out more, or visit www.nhs.uk/

Breast Cancer screening. (November 2013)

  • Thousands of women across Epping Forest are being invited for screening by the Epping Breast Unit at St. Margaret’s Hospital, which was recently named as one of the best testing and aftercare centres in the region by Breast Cancer Screening Quality Assurance inspectors. They hope that as many women as possible will attend their appointment

  • women over the age of 70 can ring the screening office to make an appointment – if you are concerned, don’t wait for an invitation! 
    News article

Loughton Voluntary Care's (LVC) organisational blue badges (April & July 2013)
These are used to take disabled people who have no car and hence often no Blue Badge of their own, to hospitals etc, especially those in London. Conservative County Council cabinet member, John Aldridge, has withdrawn these badges. In response to a strong and repeated complaint on behalf of LVC by LRA County Cllr Chris Pond, Cllr Aldridge said that to alter the withdrawal would require a change of national legislation. However, Conservative Transport Minister Norman Baker has told LVC that the regulations have not changed. Whatever the truth of this muddle, a great disservice has been done to the less able people in our community, who have been so well served by LVC for the last 30 or so years.

Following vigorous representations by LRA Cllrs Chris and Caroline Pond, the much-valued Loughton Voluntary Care (LVC) association has had its organisational blue badges restored by the County Council, which had withdrawn them in March. This enables LVC volunteers to transport disabled people for whom they care and who have no car and hence no personal blue badge; and to use disabled parking spaces and concessions as of right. The matter was taken up with, and then by, County Council cabinet member John Aldridge, and went right up to the Minister (Norman Baker). A small success, but one that will be of great value to mobility-impaired people in Loughton.

Contraception & Sexual Health Drop in Service for under 25's.
Contraceptive advice, Chlamydia Testing, CCards, Emergency Contraception, Pregnancy Testing, signposting and advice. Free; confidential; no appointments needed; run by qualified NHS nurses. Sessions are at:

  • Rectory Lane Health Centre every Thursday, 3 - 4.45pm. Map

  • Buckhurst Way Clinic, Buckhurst Way, Buckhurst Hill - every Friday 3 -4.30pm. Map

Waltham Abbey Health Centre (1st floor), Sewardstone Road. Every Wednesday 3pm -4.45pm. Map & directions

Looking after Adults – Social Care Accounts
The County Council now provides “Local Accounts” which describe the performance of adult social care services – to find out more, click on “Adult Social Care Local Account” and “Adult Social Care Local Account Appendix” at the Council website

Cancer & palliative care directory of NHS and other services: NHS

Stroke or head injury sufferers.
Have you or someone you know had a stroke or head injury that has caused some communication difficulties? If so, there is an opportunity to practise communication skills in a friendly supportive group at Epping Forest College, Loughton. If you would like to know more about the Learning Again class, please phone Barbara Leach on 01992 813078 or 07989830258.

Stopping smoking? 
A new national campaign, Stoptober, calls for all smokers to quit for 28 days.Smokers will receive support and encouragement through TV and radio advertising, plus a daily messaging service and roadshows around the country.

Loughton Voluntary Care (LVC) 
This is a charity which organises such things as transport to medical appointments, and a visiting and befriending service, including escorted shopping, etc for older people. It’s sponsored by Churches Together in Loughton and supported by Epping Forest District Council. Please contact LVC at 020 8508 6114 (weekdays between 10-12 and 2-4, or at other times leave a message on the answer phone) if:

  • you are able to help.
  • your know someone who could benefit from help.

Healthwatch Essex:
Annual Report

Occupational Therapy (OT) Assessments for Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs) (January 2014)
The District Council became concerned that the number of referrals received for Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs) from Essex County Council (ECC) had decreased, despite the rise in the number of disabled people trying to live independently in the community. As a result, changes have been made to the County Council OT service and the number of referrals has increased sharply.

Annual Partnership Report 2013 - (November 2013)
Essex County Council & North Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust:

NHS 111. (September 2013)
LRA Cllr Chris Pond reported that there seem to be no significant issues with the NHS 111, the new non-emergency help line which now covers Loughton. The telephone bureau is staffed by trained operators sitting at tables of 6 (one at each table is a qualified clinician). There is a sophisticated telephone call distribution system overseen by a supervisor. In just under 10% of calls, an ambulance is despatched, but in most (>50%) of cases, advice is given to attend primary care.

Hospital services – report by LRA Cllr Chris Pond (July 2013)

  • Maternity Services at Queens Hospital, Romford: there has been a marked improvement in the quality of their services, as assessed by the Care Quality Commission, and by mothers. A new midwife-led birth unit has opened for straightforward births. Essex mothers are again able to book into Queens.

  • Cancer. We have mentioned the proposals to centralise urological cancer treatment in central London. These are now on hold, as London Cancer has decided to investigate possible wider reconfiguration of the treatment of several different cancer types, including urology and those of brain, spine, head, neck, blood, upper GI, and thorax. At the same time, they intend to deal with cardiac-vascular medicine, the present intention being to designate a new London Heart Hospital on the Barts site, to be a "centre of international excellence" to replace London Chest and other centres. These proposals will be examined in the autumn/winter, and we hope that Chris will be invited to contribute on behalf of local residents.
    See more in “Future Plans”.


Strategic vision for local mental health services (March 2014)
Melanie Crass of the local Mental Health Services of the West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) presented a report to the District Council’s Overview & Scrutiny Committee recently. 1 in 3 people will experience mental health issues at some stage in their lives.

Changes to Specialist Cancer Services in North, Central and East London & West Essex (January 2014)
This is a proposal to concentrate treatment of the most difficult urological etc cancers into centres of excellence (not  routine cancer treatment). There has been some concern about the adequacy of consultation. More (item 25). More (item 6)

Changes to local Health & Support Services (December 2013)

East of England Ambulance Service: how it operates, how it performs and what they are doing to improve the service. More

Local NHS services - the future. (September 2013)
 Dr Bishai (West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group - CCG) recently gave a presentation to a District Council committee on future health provision and the CC’s 55m savings target over 3 years. More information and to see the discussion, including the contributions from the LRA Cllrs present.

North East London issues. (September 2013)
LRA Cllr Chris Pond represents the County Council on the Outer North East London Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee. In his latest quarterly update Chris highlighted:

  • Following long-standing concerns about the performance of emergency care at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) and the most recent Care Quality Commission report on the Emergency department at Queen’s, the local CCGs have been working closely with BHRUT and other partners to monitor the situation and take action to make improvements

  • an improvement in the quality of maternity services at Queens Hospital - a new midwife-led birth unit has opened for straightforward births and Essex mothers are again able to book into Queens

  • proposals to centralise urological cancer treatment in central London are now on hold, as London Cancer has decided to investigate possible wider reconfigurations of the treatment of several different cancer types, including urology

  • it is proposed to designate a new London Heart Hospital on the Barts site, to be a "centre of international excellence" for cardiac vascular medicine, to replace London Chest and other centres. Scrutiny of the proposals is likely during autumn/winter 2013

  • A review of Barts health's plan and timetable for the upgrade of Whipps Cross Hospital (which is in effect the local hospital for much of Epping Forest) is scheduled for January 2014.

NHS Essex Stroke Review - for the latest information see https://www.southendccg.nhs.uk/strokereview

Prostate cancer surgery. (March 2013)
London Cancer are proposing that all prostate cancer patients from an area stretching from Barnet in the west, through S Hertfordshire, Waltham Forest, West Essex and the East London boroughs as far as the M25 Thames crossing will have to travel to University College Hospital (UCH) at Euston for major surgery.

  • John Woods (020 8508 1764; proactivegroup@ntlworld.com) of Proactive (a local men's prostate cancer self-help group) contacted LRA with concerns about the planned closure of Urological Cancer surgery in Chase Farm (Enfield), King George’s (Ilford) and Whipps Cross (Waltham Forest) Hospitals, with all future patients being sent to University College Hospital at Euston or, for kidney cancer to the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead.

  • It appears from the relevant Health Services Journal article that, while Urology is first, there are also plans to centralise renal surgery at the Royal Free Hospital, and cardiac surgery at Barts.

  • Over the last 5 years, the NHS nationally has been concentrating treatment wherever possible on centres of excellence for specialisms. The theory is that the sooner, for instance, a patient with a stroke is taken to a major stroke centre, the better his/her chances of recovery, because of all the specialised knowledge and care available there. So if you are unlucky enough to suffer a stroke, major trauma, heart attack, etc, you will now be taken not to a local hospital but to a specialist department, which might be some way away, in an ambulance with trained paramedics.

  • Proactive are not against the Urology proposals altogether but they feel that there are sufficient patients to warrant a two-site centre. More

  • LRA Cllr Chris Pond has been heavily involved in recent years with ensuring that the interests of Loughton residents (and others outside London) are taken fully into account in NE London NHS reorganisations – he is following up these comments. 

  • LRA County Cllr Chris Pond recently attended a NE London NHS meeting on proposals to centralise complex operations at University College Hospital in Central London (but to maintain routine operations and Outpatient services at the local hospitals). More


Whipps Cross hospital (June 2014)
Cllrs question NHS on problems and performance. More (item 81)

Latest Board Papers – find out what’s going on

Care Quality Commission (CQC) reports

Financial problems at Whipps Cross Hospital! (July 2013)

Problems at Whipps Cross Hospital: (August 2013)
Following routine unannounced inspections at Whipps Cross University Hospital by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in May and June of this year, the hospital was served with three warning notices concerning specific aspects of the maternity and elderly care services at the hospital. For the reasons, and for what they are doing in response, see:


Care Quality Commission (CQC) reports

Latest Board Papers – find out what’s going on

Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow patient experience.
The Trust’s boardroom will be open 2 - 3pm (the hour before visiting time) each Wednesday for any inpatients who are mobile, outpatients who have an appointment on that day and visitors of patients. You can talk to staff about any compliments, suggestions for improvements and any concerns. If these sessions are successful and the demand is there, they will also run sessions on Mondays, 5:30 - 6:30pm.


Care Quality Commission (CQC) reports

Maternity Delivery Services 
Maternity Delivery Services have now transferred from King George Hospital, which will still provide access to a full range of antenatal and postnatal maternity services. GPs and midwives are supporting pregnant women to choose where they want to have their baby, including offering choice of giving birth in a midwife-led unit for women with low risk pregnancies.

  • More
  • Guide to maternity services available for women and their families in north east London. More


St Clare’s Hospice new Hospice at Home service (February 2014) 
More information, call the Hospice at Home team on 01279 773716

St Francis Hospice

St Clare’s Hospice

Haven House Children’s Hospice

Report on Essex HospicesMeeting agenda (See links at the bottom of the page)