Agenda and draft minutes

Health Services Task and Finish Group - Monday, 5th December, 2022 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber

Contact: Committee Officer  01525 631920 or: Email:

No. Item



Schedule 12 of the Local Government Act 1972 requires a record be kept of the Members present and that this record form part of the minutes of the meeting. Members who cannot attend a meeting should tender apologies to the Town Clerk.


Apologies for absence had been received from Councillor D Bowater, from Central Bedfordshire Councillor T Stock, from E Griffith of the Bassett Road Surgery Patient Participation Group and from the Chief Medical Director of BLMK Integrated Care Board (ICB).




(i)         Under the Localism Act 2011 (sections 26-37 and Schedule 4) and in accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct, Members are required to declare any interests which are not currently entered in the Member’s Register of Interests or if he/she has not notified the Monitoring Officer of it.

(ii)        Should any Member have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in an item on the agenda, the Member may not participate in consideration of that item unless a Dispensation has first been requested (in writing) and granted by the Council (see Dispensation Procedure).


Councillor R Goodchild declared a personal interest as Chair of Salisbury House GP Practice Patient Participation Group.


No pecuniary declarations were made or dispensations requested.



QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC (3 minutes per person; maximum 15 minutes)

To receive questions and statements from members of the public in respect of any item of business included in the agenda, as provided for in Standing Order No.s 3 (e)(f)(g) and 3(h).


Councillor Owen raised a question as a member of the public, as to whether the group should consider including dentistry in its terms of reference.




(a)  To receive and approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 1 September 2022 (attached).


(b) To receive information updates on any matters arising from the previous meeting (summary report attached).


Additional documents:


(a)      The Task and Finish Group received the minutes of the Health Services Task and Finish Group meeting held on 1 September 2022.


Minute reference 45/HS: a minor amendment to the wording of one sentence was proposed and accepted by the group.


RESOLVED that the minutes of the Health Services Task and Finish Group meeting held 1 September 2022 be approved as a correct record, subject to the agreed amendment to one sentence, and were signed accordingly.


(b)       Updates arising from previous meeting:


The Task and Finish Group received a brief report outlining the resolutions made by the Group at its previous meetings during 2022, actions taken and any progress or updates.


It was agreed that it was disappointing that no formal responses had been received to correspondence sent in April 2022 and September 2022 to the healthcare authority and local authority.


The group noted that the “stocktake report” requested by the Central Bedfordshire Health and Wellbeing board (HWB) on 13 July 2022 in response to the report submitted by the Town Council had resulted in the presentation of a “Fuller stocktake report” to the HWB on 19 October 2022. This “Fuller stocktake report” was based on the national report by Dr Claire Fuller in respect of next steps for integrating primary care, but had not addressed the points raised in the Town Council report, with no specific information or focus on Leighton-Linslade.





(a)      To receive any update from Andrew Selous MP in relation to healthcare provision in Leighton-Linslade.


(b)      To receive any other updates from group members and invited attendees in respect of healthcare provision in Leighton-Linslade.


(c)          To receive a report and supporting document submitted by Cllr V Harvey in respect of local heathcare provision (attached).


(d)          To consider next steps, for example the sharing of a progress report with residents of Leighton-Linslade.





Task and Finish Group Aims (agreed 5 March 2020):


1.     To press Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) and Central Bedfordshire Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB) to bring forward proposals urgently for a Leighton-Linslade Health Hub as part of a planned approach to improved localisation of hospital services for local residents and to secure the town’s fair share of Government investment in the localisation agenda.

 2.     To press for the development of that Plan to include local GPs and professions ancillary, patient groups and the Town Council, to promote, encourage and support early and regular consultation with residents of the parish in terms of the services to be provided and the location of the Hub.

 3.     To pursue, in consultation with the three groups mentioned above, that this comprehensive Plan shall include:

(a)   A Leighton-Linslade Hub providing a range of services that are currently provided by hospitals or not at all

(b)   The accommodation and investment requirements of existing GP surgeries in the town

(c)   Planned GP surgeries serving the new developments on the eastern side of the town and also Linslade residents, who used to have two GP surgeries but now had none.


Additional documents:


(a)      Update from the local Member of Parliament


Mr A Selous gave a brief report on the meeting he had held with various parties on 26 September 2022, at which he had asked the Primary Care Network to come up with a plan to make progress with expanded healthcare services. This had been followed up with a meeting with Dr J Henderson on 25 November and a visit to the Bassett Road clinic (referred to as the “Leighton-Linslade health centre”). It was understood that around fifteen additional Primary Care staff had recently started work or would be starting soon and that there was a commitment to opening up another seven consulting rooms in the town. It was acknowledged that more General Practitioners and other medical staff were needed in the area. The MP had asked the healthcare service for the return of an ultrasound service to the town and would continue to press for improvements in local healthcare provision, as well as the need to ensure adequate funding to meet the infrastructure needs of new housing developments nationally.


Whilst group members welcomed the news of additional consulting rooms and the greater use of the Bassett Road clinic building, concerns were expressed that it was confusing for patients to have services spread widely and that this was also inefficient.


Disappointment was expressed that the meeting on 26 September 2022 had not included any councillors or members of the public. In addition, concerns were raised regarding lack of progress towards a fourth GP surgery or a health hub, lack of progress with decentralisation of healthcare services, a lack of basic services such as ear syringing and the overall lack of engagement with members of the public.


Mr Selous stated that the priority needed to be finding realistic and practical ways forward which could be delivered quickly, as patients needed access to services now rather than waiting for years. He agreed with the need for services such as ear wax removal and agreed that a clear public message was needed from the BLMK ICB regarding direction of travel. It was understood that there was no capital funding for a health hub building, the cost of which had been estimated in 2018-19 at £12million and was likely to now be significantly higher due to rising construction costs.


A view was expressed that the proposed cost of building a health hub would be small compared with the annual budget for healthcare provision and could save residents a significant amount of time and money in travel to hospitals. Another view was expressed that the ICB should be asked to clarify how its funding was being spent to best benefit residents.


(b)      Updates from other group members


The representative of the Leighton Road Surgery Patient Participation Group advised that lots of small projects were anticipated to help reduce pressure on hospitals, following a model in Herts & West Essex, for example the possible diversion of 999 calls to community providers for an initial triage process.


(c)   Report on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.