Healthcare Review work to be continued within Sustainability and Transformation Plan process
It has been agreed by the clinical commissioning groups for Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes and NHS England that the Healthcare Review is to be progressed as an integral part of the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) process for Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes and Luton.
As the Healthcare Review and the STP process are both aiming to deliver high quality local healthcare services that are financially viable and fit for the future, it has been decided that is makes sense for the work to continue as a single programme.
Considerable progress has been made by the Healthcare Review in identifying potential service change options to address the identified challenges for healthcare in Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes. This work will be carried over to the STP process, where work will continue and potential options will be checked against the wider opportunities offered through extended working with Luton.
Matthew Webb, Joint Senior Responsible Officer (SRO) for the Healthcare Review, said: "An overall plan will be produced for the future of healthcare services across Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes. This doesn't mean one size fits all, but by working across a wider footprint we believe that we can design overall solutions which can achieve both economies of scale and yet be sensitive to local needs."
Pauline Philip, Chief Executive of the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital and lead for the Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), said: "Clinicians, community leaders, patients, patient advocacy groups and many others across Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes have worked tremendously hard over a long period of time in identifying and exploring ways in which we can strengthen local hospital services through the Healthcare Review. We don't want to lose any of that hard work - in fact, we want to build on it.
"In doing this, we want to take into account how solutions might be enhanced both by looking at the wider healthcare system in community, primary and mental health care provision (as highlighted in Bedford Borough Council's recently commissioned report into integrated care in Bedfordshire) and by including Luton & Dunstable Hospital as a further source of support to underpin any potential changes to our local services.
"Hospitals do not work in isolation; they are part of the fabric of a health and social care system that reaches out far beyond their walls. We need to get the whole system working together and working well to ensure all parts of it deliver the best care and services for local people. Through the STP, acute hospitals, community, primary care and mental health commissioners and providers will be working together, alongside the four local Councils and providers of social care services to determine how best we can ensure our local communities receive high quality care and services on a financially sustainable basis.
"There is, of course, great interest in how we will take this work forward and, personally, I am very excited about the prospect of leading the work designed to bring about a step-improvement in the health and well-being of the people of Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes and Luton.
"We are currently talking to all STP partners to ensure we get the right systems and structures in place. Importantly, this will involve patients and the public in helping us develop the right plans and the right models of care and services across the health and care system. We will publish more information and opportunities for involvement as quickly as we can."