Leighton Buzzard Public Update – December 2023

Leighton Buzzard Public Update – December 2023 image

Home » Leighton Buzzard Public Update – December 2023

In our last update on work in Leighton Buzzard, we were pleased to confirm that a “focus group” style event would be held in the town in early November with attendance from residents on the town’s Patient Participation Groups, voluntary and community sector organisations, and elected representatives. The ICB was pleased to host this event on 09 November at the Astral Park Sports and Community Centre, and to be joined by circa 40 attendees, including local MP Andrew Selous.

The main points of the event included:

  • The ICB’s Associate Director of Estates, Nikki Barnes, set out the work so far on developing the Outline Business Case for additional health and care services. This includes, but is not limited to, a detailed analysis of site options for a potential new facility, including Vandyke Road and Clipstone Park. Particularly important considerations for those attending were public transport links and car parking capacity.
  • There was also a detailed discussion about a Town Centre option, and specifically the potential of repurposing an existing building(s) there for health purposes. Nikki set out some of the challenges of this approach, including the technical specification for a health facility, the high costs of doing repurposing work of this nature, and the difficulty of securing sufficient space for any future expansion. No decisions have yet been made, and the ICB looks forward to completing the Outline Business Case by Spring 2024.
  • Nikki confirmed that additional non-complex diagnostics were a central part of considering what additional services could be delivered. As is consistent with the recent patient survey, expanded provision of tests including phlebotomy and spirometry is a local priority. Complex diagnostics – like MRI – are not in scope for this work, principally due to financial, workforce and operational constraints.
  • Attendees discussed same day access in primary care, and Dr John Henderson Co – Clinical Director of the town’s Primary Care Network (PCN) & Senior Partner at Bassett Road Surgery – updated on the work he and his team are doing to support better same day access to primary care services.

Below follows a fuller update on this work:

  • The PCN continues to plan to use the full allocation from the Additional Role Reimbursement Scheme (the financial support that is available to support recruitment of diverse and expert clinicians to build a varied primary care team).
  • An additional physiotherapist has been appointed and a new clinical pharmacist has taken up her appointment. 
  • A new care coordinator will start in December who will be concentrating on prevention, including the uptake of childhood immunisations and cervical screening.

The ICB has also secured additional space at Leighton Buzzard Health Centre for the PCN to use. The focus for this space will be implementing a same day access service, and it will also be utilised for additional respiratory diagnostics clinics, phlebotomy clinics and asthma medication clinics.

Some discussion on 09 November focussed on the different terms and language. We understand this can be unclear, and we hope the table below is therefore of use.   

Key Terms  
General PracticeA multi-disciplinary healthcare team, led by a general practitioner (doctor), in the community providing a range of services
Primary CareIncludes general practice (GPs) optometry, dentists, community pharmacy, 111, urgent treatment centres, and urgent GP clinics. These are usually the first step for the population in accessing health services.
Primary Care NetworksGroups of practices working together to deliver a scaled primary care offer – where it is efficient & effective to do so – to the population.
Same day primary careProvision of primary care services/appointments, to meet patient need, and delivered by a range of health and care professionals.
Urgent CareUrgent care involves any non-life-threatening illness or injury needing urgent attention which might be dealt with by phone consultation through the NHS111 Clinical Assessment Service, pharmacy advice, out-of-hours GP appointments, and/or referral to an urgent treatment centre (UTC).
Emergency CareEmergency care involves life-threatening illnesses or accidents which require immediate treatment from services including the ambulance, service (via 999) and an emergency department (A&E).

Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care Board, December 2023

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