10 Service landscape Until recently, the PCT's service landscape has largely consisted of primary care provision through generally small practices, underdeveloped community services and secondary care services provided in an acute environment. This is now changing as the PCT addresses the challenges of poor access to primary and community services and over- reliance on secondary care facilities. A first step was the procurement of the Brentwood Community Hospital which opened in October 2008, providing acute services alongside primary and intermediate care. The PCT has strategic alliances with Brentwood and Basildon District Councils, Thurrock Unitary Authority and Essex County Council. Community services operate out of more than 30 sites, spread geographically across South West Essex from Tilbury in the south to Brentwood in the north. Alongside single- site services such as the Minor Injuries Unit in Orsett there are multi- site services, such as musculo- skeletal, operating on three sites. The PCT currently commissions services to the value of approximately £ 70 million from the currently arms- length Community Services division.
11 The NHS South West Essex patch The PCT's operational area is divided in to what it describes as three ' localities'. These are coterminous with the three local authority areas it serves: the district of Basildon ( covering Basildon, Billericay and Wickford) in the east of the patch, the district of Brentwood across to the north and the unitary authority of Thurrock in the south of the patch, on the north shore of the River Thames. Population profile Demographics Basildon Brentwood Thurrock Population demographics - compared with Essex & UK Younger Older Younger Population Increasing Increasing Increasing Fastest growing population sector Older age group Older age group Older age group Working- age population Diminishing Slow growth Diminishing Diversity / affluence BME* community compared with UK average Small Small Small Life expectancy & mortality rates compared with UK average Similar & improving Better & stable Similar & improving Health Inequalities in locality Substantial Average Substantial Locality contains advantaged & deprived health areas Both & incl. travellers Few deprived Both * BME = black and minority ethnic