Not such a healthy increase in care staff for Leighton Buzzard, Dunstable and Houghton Regis

MP 'upset' but says it's still good news that there will be some extra resourcing

By Steve Sims
Monday, 7th March 2022, 12:20 am

An increase in primary care staff for Dunstable, Houghton Regis and Leighton Buzzard is not the healthy boost in numbers that South West Beds MP Andrew Selous first believed it to be.

Mr Selous was delighted last month when he said he been informed by local health chiefs that 180 new direct patient primary care staff would be coming to South Bedfordshire.

After writing to Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), he said the CCG reply indicated that the Chiltern Hills Primary Care Network which covers the Dunstable area would be employing 60 more staff in this and the next two financial years. In the Leighton Buzzard Primary Care Network there would be an additional 82 staff and in the Titan Primary Care Network (Houghton Regis) an extra 38.5 staff.

Andrew Selous MP

However, Mr Selous has now revealed a misunderstanding over the figures which has left him ‘upset’, although he is still pleased there will be some extra resources for the area.

He said: “I have now received a further letter from BLMK CCG which advises me that the figures for 2022-23 and 2023-24 provided to me in the letter of February 4 were cumulative totals, something that was not stated in the original letter and was only made clear to me in the letter I have received from them today.”

He said the correct increases in Direct Patient Care staff from this year over the next two years were in fact 11 for Leighton Buzzard and Linslade and four for Houghton Regis. Dunstable will not be getting any additional staff.

He said: “I am upset that this was not made clear in the original letter and resulted in me putting out information in good faith which I have today found to be incorrect. I shall continue to work with colleagues in Parliament to make sure that we have adequate general practice provision locally in the light of the rapidly increasing population in my constituency.”