Our estates strategy will need to consider a variety of factors including the location of services and whether buildings are set up to deliver the specific services they need to. We also need to ensure that our NHS buildings are accessible and meet the needs and expectations of the people who are using them including staff, patients and carers.
In Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) our ten-year estates strategy aims to build the infrastructure we need to deliver services closer to home, that encourage and enable our staff to work together to deliver joined up care and meet the needs of our growing communities.
BLMK has an ambitious set of estates plans, and a strong track record of securing the funding to support delivery of programmes across our partner organisations. Our estates strategy aims to support each of our ICS strategic priorities including:
- Developing a series of hubs to support consistent and accessible maternity care
- Integrated children’s services to improve coordination and communication between services and link to wider wellbeing and community services.
- Integrated health and wellbeing hubs to support personalised care and help people to manage their own health through social prescribing and health coaching and linking to other services in the community.
- Exploring opportunities to locate health and care services in the heart of local places to support social and economic sustainability.
- Planning our infrastructure in a way that supports our workforce, promotes clinical excellence, takes advantage of the benefits that the use of technology can bring to health and social care.
We will be working be to embed the benefits of a more flexible approach to service delivery which have been introduced as a result of the COVID pandemic, with a focus on moving care out of hospitals and into the community.
Supporting integrated care
Across BLMK we are seeing significant changes in the way we deliver primary care, including the development of Primary Care Networks (PCNs). To support this BMLK is working to develop a number of primary care health and wellbeing hubs. These will support the delivery of primary care at scale, improve access to services and enable workforce expansion, integrated working, and personalised and proactive care.
These hubs will also need to accommodate a significant growth in our population, largely as a result of housing development, and address issues with current primary care premises which are hindering the development of primary care services in some areas.
These hubs will also look to generate greater links to our community and mental health services. The specific range of services to be based at each Hub will vary depending on local population health needs, which will inform the decisions we are making about where and what infrastructure needs to be in place.
Sustainable Secondary Care
We are also working to the condition and efficiency of our acute hospital sites. These buildings provide critical infrastructure for the growing population across the ICS, and for a significant element of the BLMK Estates Strategy. There are two major schemes in progress for the Luton & Dunstable Hospital (L&D) and Milton Keynes Hospital (MKUH) sites. Further work to consolidate the service and estates plans across Bedfordshire Hospitals Foundation Trust is taking place.
The key acute transformation estates schemes currently underway are:
- Luton & Dunstable Hospital Site Development Plan – programme to build an Acute Service Block (ASB) and an adjoining New Ward Block (NWB) to address key estates risks across the Trust and improve healthcare environment for patients.
- Milton Keynes University Hospital – Pathway Unit under construction, to provide assessment / ambulatory care function for non-elective adult patients who do not require immediate attention from the emergency department team.