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Healthcare Review - recommendations on future of local hospital services to be considered

08 June 2016


Following essential in-depth discussions with clinicians, public and patients about proposed hospital models that will deliver high quality, affordable healthcare to meet the future needs of its populations, the Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes Healthcare Review has now shared its recommendations in an ‘Option Refinement Paper’ which has been published today.

The paper outlines the steps taken since the Review was established in 2014 to consider a number of different possibilities and the process that has been followed to formulate its recommendations.

This Option Refinement Paper will be reviewed by the CCGs’ Joint Committee at a meeting in public on 14 June (postponed). This is the first step in taking forward the recommendations of both CCGs to be worked up into a more detailed business case that will need to be validated by NHS England, prior to being taken to public consultation later this year.

Matthew Tait, Accountable Officer for Bedfordshire CCG and Joint Senior Responsible Officer (SRO) for the Healthcare Review programme, said: “This paper brings together the positive working that has been undertaken with our healthcare partners1 and representatives from our key stakeholder groups over recent months.

"Based on our evaluation, there is one model which scores most strongly in terms of clinical quality and sustainability and also scored well in terms of access to care,” continued Matthew. “This provides us with a strong basis on which both CCGs are agreed.”

The option being recommended would see Milton Keynes Hospital become a major emergency centre providing the same range of services as now but, by centralising some specialist services for a larger population, clinicians would be able to maintain and develop their skills. In the long term, this will provide better outcomes for patients.

For Bedford, the recommended option includes a new hospital model, developed over the last few months based firmly on clinical, patient and public feedback and scoring more highly than previous options in terms of clinical quality, sustainability and access to care. Under this new model, Bedford Hospital would continue to provide a 24/7 A&E department, a high dependency unit providing intensive support for higher risk patients and a paediatric assessment unit, along with a full outpatients services, diagnostics, planned day surgery, support for home births and ante/post-natal support.

The main change under this proposed option would be the consolidation of the delivery element of maternity care in a full obstetrics unit on the Milton Keynes Hospital site which, by catering for a higher number of births, would help to attract and retain essential staff and provide the highest quality of care, with more efficient use of resources. Similarly, the majority of emergency surgical care would be delivered on the Milton Keynes Hospital site. This would ensure the necessary skills and expertise are available to provide high quality care for the patients from both Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes.

Matthew Webb, Chief Officer at Milton Keynes CCG and Healthcare Review Joint Senior Responsible Officer (SRO) added: “We have been on a journey and, although this has been going on for a while, we are determined to arrive at a solution that delivers clinically viable and financially sustainable services on behalf of both CCG populations. Feedback from the public, patients, clinicians and other key stakeholders has informed the recommendations we are making and will continue to do so.”

The Option Refinement Paper summarises the process which the Healthcare Review programme and partners have gone through to reach its recommendations, including:

How the hospital models and options have been developed and how the range of options has been narrowed to the current list of five:

  • How the evaluation criteria have helped to inform the decision making process;
  • The additional work which has been undertaken to support the scoring of the five options. This includes further detail on engagement with stakeholder groups, equality and access (including refreshed travel analysis); and the wider national context (national Sustainability and Transformation Plan); and
  • How each of the hospital options has been scored against the evaluation criteria.

Following the Joint Committee meeting, which will be held in public on 14 June, the Review will be inviting further feedback through this website. This feedback will be gathered together and fed into the Pre-consultation Business Case and the next stage of the process.

View Joint Committee Meeting Agenda and Papers

The Healthcare Review is a joint programme being led by Bedfordshire CCG and Milton Keynes CCG, working closely with Bedford and Milton Keynes hospitals and with oversight from national healthcare bodies. For more information, see the Healthcare Review website at www.BedsandMKhealth.org


Notes to editors

1. Healthcare Review partners are Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Bedford Hospital NHS Trust, Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group, Milton Keynes NHS University Hospital Foundation Trust, NHS England and NHS Improvement (formerly Monitor and the Trust Development Authority).

For more information, please contact the Healthcare Review communications team on 01908 278738, email communications@BedsandMKhealth.org

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