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Patients across South West Essex will have a true local choice of where they go for hospital treatment, thanks to a new partnership established between the South West Essex Primary Care Trust (PCT) and Spire Hartswood Hospital in Brentwood.

The PCT has commissioned Spire to provide a range of general surgical treatments. All GPs across South West Essex are now able to offer local patients the choice of having treatment at Hartswood, and book their appointments directly, using the computer-based Choose and Book system. Treatments at the independent sector hospital will be funded in the same way as NHS care, at no charge to patients.

The PCT’s Head of Strategic Commissioning and Market Development Mandy Ansell explains: ‘We recognise that patients have different needs and lifestyle, so offering them a real choice in where and when they receive treatment is a top local priority.

‘Our local NHS Trusts offer a very broad spectrum of high quality services and will continue to treat the majority of patients. Our partnership with Spire is all about enabling patient to exercise their right to choose.’

Mark Gilmour, General Manager at Spire Hospital Essex adds ‘Spire’s aim is to ensure we support local health services by supporting the PCT’s target of reducing waiting times in Essex and delivering high quality patient care.

‘We plan to add further specialties to our directory of services in future, but to begin with we are offering a range of the most frequently needed treatments.’

Treatments available to NHS patients at the Hartswood include ear, nose and throat surgery for adults, hernia treatments, gynaecological treatments, joint replacements and eye procedures, such as cateract surgery.

Almost all patients are eligible to a choice of where they receive treatment. Those who need a treatment provided by the Hartswood Hospital should now be offered this choice by their GP. A few patients will not be able to choose where they go for clinical reasons, for example if they have had other major surgery in the past six months.

If you are not offered choice by your GP, and are not clear on the reasons why, or would like to know more about the initiative, please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison (PALS) service at the PCT on 0800 587 9159.

Find out more about choosing Spire Hartswood Hospital for NHS or private healthcare treatment at, or email, or call 0845 600 1654.

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