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Local commissioners and national NHS bodies join forces to support a review of patient services in Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes

13 January 2014

Monitor, NHS England and the NHS Trust Development Authority have agreed to support a strategic review of local health services in Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes with the aim of improving healthcare for local people.


The review will be undertaken by NHS Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Milton Keynes CCG. The CCGs asked the national bodies to work with them in an innovative new partnership bringing together the unique statutory duties of each organisation to help undertake the review.


The £3.2 million cost of the local strategic review is to be met by Monitor, the sector regulator for health.  The review will involve significant engagement with local communities, clinicians and healthcare providers as part of a detailed assessment of future health needs in Milton Keynes and Bedfordshire. Monitor believes the review represents good value for money, compared with the local NHS Trusts' annual combined losses which currently stand at around £23m. 


Dr Paul Hassan, Chief Clinical Officer for Bedfordshire CCG said:

“We are looking forward to working with the national partners to improve healthcare for the people of Central Bedfordshire and Bedford Borough.”


Jeannie Ablett, Chief Officer at Milton Keynes CCG said:

 “It is essential that we commission health services that meet the needs of people in Milton Keynes. We will use the review to talk to people about what services they need and how they want them delivered. We are pleased the national bodies have agreed to support the review as it allows us to commit all our resources toward buying healthcare services for local people.”


Jonathan Guppy, Senior Enforcement Director at Monitor said:

“Investing in the future of healthcare in Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes is the right thing for the national NHS partners to do. Monitor may be providing the money but this is a partnership approach that relies on the local commissioning groups, working alongside clinicians and the public, to find ways of delivering local care in appropriate and sustainable ways.”


The review will analyse current provision of health services in Milton Keynes and Bedfordshire and the problems that exist currently at Bedford (financial and clinical) and Milton Keynes (financial) hospital trusts. It will present options for how services might adapt and change in the future. Central to the review will be engagement with local patients, patient groups, local nurses and doctors, national clinical experts, local people living with long-term conditions, local politicians and many others.




Notes to editors

  • Monitor is involved because Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is in breach of its licence and predicting financial losses of £17 million this year. Monitor will make regulatory decisions about Milton Keynes Trust, help protect the continuity of essential local services and undertake work to improve the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the health sector.
  • The NHS TDA is supporting Bedford Hospital NHS Trust to address a range of clinical and financial issues to achieve sustainability.
  • NHS England is the direct commissioner of general practice, pharmacy, dentistry, health visiting and specialist services. It also has a responsibility to assure improvements are made in the outcomes for people as a result of the commissioning of the two local commissioning groups.
  • Monitor has appointed McKinsey and Company to help the CCGs with the review. It will be an in-depth process working with commissioners, providers, healthcare staff and involving the local community in designing sustainable solutions that best meet the needs of patients.
  • The review will result in a written report in the summer of 2014 setting out the commissioners’ options for health services for the area.


About NHS Milton Keynes CCG

NHS MK Clinical Commissioning Group is responsible for planning, organising and buying NHS-funded healthcare for 260,000 people who live in Milton Keynes. We will spend around £245 million on their behalf this year to:

  • Improve the health and wellbeing of the population
  • Increase early intervention and prevention
  • Promote independence
  • Reduce health inequalities
  • Reduce social exclusion
  • Keep vulnerable people safe and well.

Follow Milton Keynes CCG on twitter @NHSMKCCG 


About NHS Bedfordshire CCG

NHS Bedfordshire CCG is responsible for planning, organising and buying NHS-funded healthcare for the 441,000 people who live in Bedfordshire. We will spend around £427 million on their behalf this year to purchase:

  • hospital services
  • community health services
  • mental health services

Follow Bedfordshire CCG on twitter @BCCG5 


About Monitor

Monitor is the sector regulator of NHS-funded health care services. Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 its main duty is to protect and promote the interests of patients. Information about Monitor’s role can be found here.

Follow Monitor on twitter @MonitorUpdate



An independent organisation, the NHS TDA works closely with other important national bodies such as NHS England, the Care Quality Commission and Monitor, to help to ensure they play an important role in providing broader health system leadership to deliver sustainable, high quality care.

The NHS TDA brings together a number of functions previously carried out within the Department of Health, Strategic Health Authorities and by the Appointments Commission. It has the core objective of supporting NHS trusts and ensuring that services to patients are of the highest possible quality, including:

  • assurance of clinical quality, governance and risk in NHS trusts;
  • appointments to NHS trusts, eg, of chairs and non-executive members and trustees for NHS charities where the Secretary of State has a power to appoint;
  • performance management of NHS trusts; and
  • management of the NHS foundation trust pipeline.

Further information about the NHS Trust Development Authority is available from www.ntda.nhs.uk  


About NHS England

NHS England is the body which leads the NHS in England. Its main aim is to improve the health outcomes for people in England, and it sets the overall direction and priorities for the NHS as a whole.


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