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BCCG agrees way forward for Bedfordshire healthcare

16 January 2015

At a meeting of its Governing Body on 7 January, Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group agreed the way forward for the development of healthcare in Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire, following on from the recommendations contained in the progress report from the Bedfordshire & Milton Keynes Healthcare Review.

Proposals have been developed to take forward a programme of activity, tailored to the differing health systems in the north and south of the county, under the banner of ‘Your Health in Bedfordshire’ and in line with the progress report’s recommendations.

John Rooke, Chief Operating Officer for BCCG, said: "We have set up an intensive 12 week work programme working jointly with Bedford Hospital and Bedford GPs in the north (the North Bedfordshire Acute and Community Programme) and we are undertaking a similar initiative in the south working with Central Bedfordshire Council and the Luton and Dunstable Hospital. Better Care Funds developed with Bedford and Central Bedfordshire Councils will form part of this work."

Some of the key areas of activity we will be focusing on are as follows.

  • Exploring different models for a modern district general hospital model in Bedford that supports integrated care, that is clinically and financially viable and which can meet the clinical standards of the future
  • Developing streamlined, consolidated, easy to access urgent care services
  • Developing a vertically-integrated hospital and community system so that local services can better support vulnerable people to be cared for outside hospital and deliver swifter assessment, diagnosis, treatment and discharge from hospital
  • Closer working with healthcare providers and local councils (using the Better Care Fund) to deliver joined-up, integrated care
  • Increased collaboration between GP practices through the formation of GP networks or 'federations'
  • Promotion of excellence in the management of long-term conditions
  • Ensuring national best practice is introduced locally to improve efficiency

From January 2015, we aim to finalise and start implementing the next steps of the review in North Bedfordshire, with Bedford Hospital, and confirm the approach with Milton Keynes CCG and review partners. From May 2015 (after the General Election), we aim to finalise and undertake formal consultation (where required), and implement plans for improved services in primary, community and hospital care (vertical integration) and networked provision of some hyper-acute specialist services.

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