Leighton Buzzard’s health services get welcome boost with more staff and big plans for the future

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Work on tackling Leighton Buzzard’s struggling health services is moving forward say healthcare providers

Leighton Buzzard’s overstretched health services have received a welcome boost with more staff and plans for the future, says the town’s healthcare provider.

Last month, Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) Integrated Care Board published an initial update on the Outline Business Case for additional health and care services in the town.

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A second update has confirmed progress on plans for same day urgent care and a new healthcare facility in the town.

New staff have been taken on at Bassett Road surgery. Pic: Google MapsNew staff have been taken on at Bassett Road surgery. Pic: Google Maps
New staff have been taken on at Bassett Road surgery. Pic: Google Maps

Dr Chris Longstaff has been appointed co-clinical director of the Leighton Buzzard Primary Care Network (PCN) alongside Dr John Henderson. Dr Longstaff is covering for Dr Laura Lewis during her maternity leave.

The PCN is continuing to develop plans for a same day urgent care service in the town and to help accommodate a growing number of staff, the ICB is working with the PCN and other partners to secure extra space for clinicians to see patients at Leighton Buzzard Health Centre on Bassett Road. The extra space is expected to be available before Christmas.

The PCN’s current workforce plans will see full use of the additional role reimbursement scheme – the financial support available to recruit diverse and expert clinicians as part of a varied primary care team.

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A social prescriber and a care navigator, both started work in October and two new physiotherapists will shortly be joining the team in Leighton Buzzard alongside a new pharmacist who is expected to start in November.

In September, the ICB’s chief transformation officer, estates lead and primary care team presented the latest on the ICB’s work in the town to Central Bedfordshire Council’s overview and scrutiny committee with discussion focussing both on plans to increase immediate capacity, and longer-term ambitions for the potential development of a new facility in the town.

A spokesman for the ICB said: “The ICB looks forward to hosting a “focus group” style event in the town in early November at which representatives from the town’s PPGs, and the local voluntary and community sector, will further share views on current and future services. The ICB’s Chief Executive Felicity Cox continues to meet with Andrew Selous MP on a regular basis.”