CANDIDATES for the general elections have revealed how they intend to fight for Thurrock healthcare.

It comes as Basildon Hospital is to be made a major trauma centre, and Southend and Broomfield are downgraded under the Mid and South Essex Success Regime plans. The future of Orsett Hospital remains up in the air, prompting concerns by some of the candidates.

Liberal Democrat Kevin McNamara has hit out at the Success Regime.

He said: “The Liberal Democrats are the only party prepared to do what is needed to guarantee the NHS’s future – putting a penny in the pound on tax to give the NHS and social care the cash it needs.”

Jackie Doyle Price, Tory candidate, has denied the claims.

She said: “The Success Regime will deliver better health services to Thurrock residents. The biggest challenge is to improve the quality of local GP services.

“We will also expand local health provision through new medical centres in Tilbury, Purfleet and Grays.”

“I am pleased to have secured improvements at Basildon Hospital. I have every confidence that the leadership team now in place will deliver the success regime.” John Kent, Labour candidate, said: “The plan to combine accident and emergency units at Basildon, Chelmsford and Southend will only put even more pressure on Basildon Hospital which is already often on Black alert.”

Tim Aker, Ukip candidate, said: “Ukip is the only party saying that we should cut foreign aid and invest in our NHS. Thurrock is the third largest authority without a hospital.”