CONCERNED residents are throwing their support behind a petition in the hopes of bringing more medical services to Halstead.

The petition, which started on Sunday, calls on the NHS to bring a primary care centre to Halstead Hospital.

The hospital is an intermediate community care hospital.

The future of the hospital was called into question by the hospital’s league of friends in December last year.

After just one day, the petition racked up nearly 100 signatures with the petition’s organiser saying 500 are needed to take it to the council.

The organiser, who asked not be named, said the creation of a primary care centre will safeguard the town against pressure on GP services brought on by future development.

They said: “I work and live locally and I have autism and ADHD.

“I was diagnosed in 2018 and found it so difficult to see someone at short notice or found myself sat on hold for lengthy times and no appointments left.

“I noticed a post about what shops people would like in Halstead and got reading about the unavoidable development in the town.

“It isn’t anyone’s fault at the current GP surgery, but I think a lot of people would agree it is massively over capacity as it is, let alone in the next five years.

“Realistically a new GP surgery is going to take a long time to be planned, approved and built.
“We have a fully functioning hospital at the top of town that, from what I can see whenever I have attended for bloods, is always empty.

“I just feel the quickest and cheapest solution to the local NHS pressures would be to intersect a primary care centre within Halstead Hospital.

“It would provide facilities for local people who do not drive and need more instant care as a walk-in practice, but also relieve some of the pressure from Elizabeth Courtauld by providing a registered GP service.

“I cannot imagine having to try and get an ill young child to A&E on a bus because my local GP cannot provide an appointment.

“People are being told to go to A&E for the simplest of ailments, taking up precious time and putting more pressure on the emergency services.”

When asked about the petition, a spokesman for the Halstead Hospital League of Friends said: "Halstead Hospital League of Friends aim to support best clinical practice for the people of Halstead both as In patients and Out patients of the hospital.

"We do this by working closely with Mid Essex CCG and our local General Practice”

To see the petition, visit