Labour Councillors say future decisions about the location and number of Doctor’s surgeries in Milton Keynes and their nature should rest 100% with local health and social care commissioners and the residents of Milton Keynes
Currently, the key player in the decisions on General Practitioner (GP) Provision is NHS England. It liaises with Milton Keynes Council and Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group but it controls the funding and has de facto control over local provision of GPs.
A study of GP provision published June 2016 highlighted the huge pressure upon GP services and need for better forward planning of GP provision. There is evidence that the CCG and NHS England are not able to move swiftly enough to meet local population demands as the new city grows. Cllr Peter Marland, Council Leader and Chair the MK Health and Wellbeing Board said,
“We need to improve the planning for future GP provision as the new city grows. I want to see NHS England (a regional body) pass its role plus funding to the local CCG who work closely with Milton Keynes Council. We have to plan ahead and meet local demands both quickly and in an open way. Time delays are no longer acceptable.”
Cllr Pete Marland
The need for local control and planning over GP provision is also closely linked to developing future integration of health with social care services.
Cllr Nigel Long, Cabinet member for Health and Adult Social Care added, “We want future GP practices to be hubs of health and social care services working together on the same site. We already have health visitors based in local GP practices, in the longer term home care services and other social care staff should be based alongside GP practices. This requires effective forward planning. This is why we want to NHS roles and resources devolved to Milton Keynes. Remote regional bodies like NHS England always struggle to respond to local needs. Our approach would bring their roles and resources to local decision makers and commissioners.”
Cllr Nigel Long
Cllr Marland concluded, “We are going to start a conversation with Government and NHS England about devolving their role and resources to local people who live in Milton Keynes. This reflects the Labour led Councils commitment to improving GP access and enhancing integrated health and social care services.”