HEALTH bosses still need to work out how to accommodate thousands more patients at Colchester General Hospital when Essex County Hospital closes next year.

The board that runs the two hospitals agreed yesterday to proceed with moving services out of the Lexden Road site over the next 12 months.

Ian O’Connor, Colchester Hospitals University NHS Trust’s interim finance director, said detailed talks about how and where the services and 350 staff would be transferred would be held in the next few months.

He admitted the trust had to find an answer to concerns about parking at Colchester General Hospital, which is already a problem at peak times.

He said: “We need to find a solution. There will be lots of options and we’ll develop the one that makes sense. It’s time now to start the more detailed planning about how services will move.”

See this week's Essex County Standard for a special report.