COLUMN: Health Matters

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
What are we campaigning for? Our local campaign for fair, equal and timely access to basic healthcare for our 52,000+ patients continues.

In the Bedford, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) Integrated Care Board (ICB) ‘patch’, it’s reported that our population is higher for age groups 60-79 years and has the highest number of mental health contacts. So, more complex cases, yet, our ‘access needs’ remain unmet as Leighton’s priority ranking is far lower than Bedford, Milton Keynes and Luton/Dunstable with their expanding hospitals and four planned Diagnostic Centres and more.

Bedfordshire Hospitals Magazine Spring 2024 says these will, “Allow patients to access planned diagnostic care nearer to home without the need to attend hospital sites, taking pressure off our acute hospitals,” and a new primary care hub will, ‘Enable patients to access more localised services!”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

That’s what Leighton Buzzard needs too! Strange that communities with a range of medical facilities and hospitals get even more (although we don’t doubt the need) whilst Leighton-Linslade and villages, with so little, should be grateful for just one/two more consulting rooms designed to alleviate limited local services and long waits for timely GP appointments.

Edith Griffith Chair of Patients’ Health Provision GroupEdith Griffith Chair of Patients’ Health Provision Group
Edith Griffith Chair of Patients’ Health Provision Group

Our modest 2023 Patient Survey priorities were presented to BLMK ICB, councillors, MP and professionals – followed by countless pleas and suggestions from our group.

We urgently need:

> 4th GP Surgery with pharmacy due to the gargantuan new housing developments.

> Central Health Hub – with urgent treatment and minor injuries unit – non-emergency triage and basic treatment unit.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

> More consulting rooms for diagnostics, outpatients clinics and a range of local services.

> The long-awaited ICB’s Outline Business Plan for improved healthcare in our town is promised in May. Will it demonstrate listening and responding by those charged with meeting our healthcare needs? Or, will we have to step up our campaign and fight even harder?