A GP has condemned proposals which could see Orsett Hospital closed for good.

Dr A.J. Pattara, who practices at The Surgery, in High Road, in Horndon on the Hill, penned a letter to the Gazette calling on hospital bosses to consider long term implications which could arise under the plans.

It comes following confirmation that Basildon Hospital, which owns the site, is in discussions with Thurrock Clinical Commissioning Group and Thurrock Council over the hospital’s future.

The hospital’s minor injuries unit has often provided a respite for Basildon Hospital’s A&E services, after directing patients to Orsett in January.

Dr Pattara wrote: "I understand from an article in the Gazette last week, that there is a plan to close Orsett Hospital following which the land will be sold onto developers to build new houses. In the article, it says that the administrators have promised that the local community will be better cared for in Basildon Hospital.

"This is exactly what they said when closed the A&E department and looked what has happened – the promises made were not kept and the people of Thurrock have suffered.

"The original administrators and consultants who were in favour of the closures of the A&E department have now long gone and the promises made to expand Basildon A&E have not happened. Do not trust the administrators now with their promises to look after the local community they will not be there in a few years, but we will.

"I have been a GP in the area for more than 25 years, and can remember the meeting in the Civic Hall, in Grays regarding the closure of A&e where everyone was against this but the administrators, again now long gone, forced this through and made promises that they did not keep.

"The closure of Orsett is a bad idea and the local community will suffer, as Basildon is already stretched to the limit."

A Basildon Hospital spokesman insists no firm decision has been taken and that the public will play a crucial role in the future of Orsett.

She said: “There are discussions already taking place around the future of local hospital and community–based health services, through the Essex Success Regime and the joint Thurrock CCG and Thurrock Council proposals set out in For Thurrock, In Thurrock.

“The services currently provided at Orsett Hospital are being considered as part of these and no decisions will be made without first asking those who use the services, residents and staff for their views.”