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Bedford GPs brief local councillors on the Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes Healthcare Review

03 July 2014

At a special briefing for Bedford Borough councillors, GP commissioners presented the Review's vision to provide better care closer to people's homes by expanding the range of services available at GP surgeries and in the community.

This will enable hospitals to concentrate their skills and resources on treating patients who need acute care such as obstetrics and accident and emergency. For more specialist treatments, patients would continue to go to specialist centres such as Addenbroke’s.

The Healthcare Review was set up at the beginning of this year to help NHS commissioners in Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes tackle the challenges of a growing and ageing population.

Director of strategy at Bedfordshire CCG Dr Diane Bell used the story of 'Mrs Jones', a fictional 77 year old grandmother, to illustrate to Bedford councillors what changes in care will mean for local people.

Mrs Jones lives alone and has no immediate family nearby. She has a fall one evening and isn’t found until the following morning.

Under current services, Mrs Jones is taken by ambulance to hospital where she is admitted and treated. Mrs Jones wants to go home but, because she is now deemed unable to live alone, she has to stay in hospital for several weeks until a suitable place in a care home can be found for her. This is some distance from her friends and neighbours. Mrs Jones declines and dies 18 months later.

Under commissioners’ proposals to bring care closer to home, Mrs Jones would be able to return home from hospital and be looked after by her GP, aided by a multi-disciplinary team of nurses and social care staff, and surrounded by her friends. Given this level of care, it is likely that Mrs Jones would regain her strength and live several years more. It is also less likely that she would have fallen in the first place, as she would be known to her local health team as someone at risk and they would be looking out for her.

Expansion of GP and community services will result in changes to the services Bedford and Milton Keynes hospitals deliver. Dr Bell also set out for councillors the 14 possible scenarios that the Review team is analysing. Over the next few weeks, these will be narrowed down to three or four options that the Bedfordshire CCG and Milton Keynes CCG will take to consultation.

For further information, contact Lucie Carrington. Tel: 07920 459662. Email lucie.carrington@bedfordshireccg.nhs.uk

Notes to editors


  • The Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes Healthcare Review is looking at hospital, community and GP health services across Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes. It is being led by Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) with support from three national agencies, Monitor, the Trust Development Authority and NHS England.


  • The Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes Healthcare Review will make recommendations at the end of July on options for the future organisation of local health services. Patients and the public will be consulted on these options in the autumn.


  • NHS Bedfordshire CCG is responsible for buying hospital and community healthcare in Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire. NHS Milton Keynes CCG buys hospital and community care within Milton Keynes. NHS England Hertfordshire & South Midlands is responsible for buying some specialist health services in the area and holds the contracts for local GP surgeries.

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