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The group which has taken over the commissioning of local healthcare this week “has a lot to learn and very little time to learn it”.

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Those were the sentiments of a member of Havering Council’s health committee at a council meeting last week.

Cllr Fred Osborne (Conservative, Brooklands) received a large round of applause when he slammed the new clinical commissioning group (CCG), over its plans for the St George’s Hospital site.

But the chairman of the group revealed there will be more public meetings on the subject.

Cllr Osborne said, at the full council meeting on Wednesday: “The CCG have very little idea of what they want on the (St George’s Hospital) site, they say they want a centre of excellence but they have very little idea what they want on there.

“They have no idea what size site they want there.”

He added: “There’s been discussion with regard to the amount of money for there, at the moment they have no idea what they want to receive.

“They have little detail for the public to consult on.”

He went on to criticise a lack of documentation for the public to examine, before alleging that the group has not consulted with North East London Foundation Trust (NEFLT) – who are looking to refurbish another site in Romford “at a cost of £1.5m”.

He added that the CCG “has a lot to learn and very little time to learn it”.

But Havering CCG chairman Dr Atul Aggarwal later said that consultation documents were sent to every GP practice in Havering, with information about the size of the facility.

He added: “A huge range of organisations have been sent the information, both from us and via colleagues in the voluntary sector.

“Our proposals include bringing services closer together and working with a range of partners to do so, including NELFT, all of whom we are engaged in regular discussion with on this and other issues.”

He added: “The real issue here is that we want to hear from as many people as possible on our proposals because we believe that redeveloping the St George’s site provides us with a real opportunity to do something positive and long lasting for our local community – particularly for older people.

“There’s still plenty of time to have your say as the consultation doesn’t end until May 12, and we are looking at hosting more events where people can talk to us face-to-face.”

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