Main L&D services ‘not under threat’
The Luton & Dunstable Hospital will not lose its A&E or maternity services, bosses in charge of a regional review of hospitals have promised.
A review is underway to see what services could be shared between the L&D and four other hospitals: Northampton, Kettering, Milton Keynes and Bedford.
Called ‘Healthier Together’, it is focusing on services for people with long term conditions such as diabetes, maternity care, children’s care, planned care including general surgery, cancer care, and emergency and urgent services.
The board in charge have promised that no hospitals will close as a result of the programme, and that all will continue to provide “most local services”.
They have also promised that all five hospitals will retain their A&E and maternity, and that no decisions will be taken without full public consultation.
A spokesman for Healthier Together said: “Evidence from the clinical working groups, together with feedback from our engagement programme, has supported the development of two potential models describing how health services might be delivered in the future.
“Under both models, all five hospitals would have an A&E and a maternity service along with outpatients and other routine services which make up the bulk of hospital visits.
“The majority of people would continue to access the services they need at their local hospital or at community facilities including GP practices close to their homes.
“More complex or specialist care would be provided through specialist centres on fewer sites because there is clear clinical evidence that this would deliver better, safer patient outcomes.”
The proposals are expected to go out to public consultation in January of next year, and be implemented next July.
An L&D spokesman said: “The L&D is continuing its commitment to invest in delivering specialist services for the people of Bedfordshire, Luton and the wider community with a £5 million cardiac ccentre which opened in June this year, and the announcement of a new surgical specialty, the corneal Service.”
For more information about the review, visit www.healthiertogethersoutheastmidlands.nhs.uk
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