(a) To receive and note the presentation given to the Central Bedfordshire Health and Wellbeing Board in April 2021 (attached).
(b) To receive an update from Patricia Coker of Central Bedfordshire Council.
It was agreed that a vote of thanks be sent to Dr J Henderson to pass on to all involved in the Leighton-Linslade Covid-19 vaccination programme which had been so very successful and run extremely well.
RESOLVED to request that a formal letter of thanks be sent in respect of the local vaccination programme.
Town Council officers had sourced and circulated copies of the presentations given to the Central Bedfordshire Health and Wellbeing Board in April 2021 and in July 2021 in respect of the integrated health hub project.
The group noted the information but expressed frustration that these were generic documents regarding Central Bedfordshire and contained very little information specific to Leighton-Linslade.
A query was raised to clarify whether the integrated hub was proposed to be a physical shared building rather than a “virtual hub”. A physical site was intended, based on a hub and spoke model, with the GP Practices possibly forming the spokes and providing various services from those locations, in addition to the centralised services to be provided from the hub. The Group supported the development of a physical hub building as it was understood from residents that this was what they expected and wanted.
The location of a possible hub was discussed and it was clarified that although land off Vandyke Road was the current suggested site (having been earmarked for health uses by the developers in the planning applications for the Leighton Buzzard Eastern Urban Extension), no firm decision had yet been made. Access to that site, particularly for non-drivers was raised as a concern. It was felt that a more central location would be preferable and more accessible for residents. Sites including the former Pledge Chairs factory site, land south of the High Street and Bridge Meadow were discussed although it was noted that both sites were subject to planning applications for development. It was suggested that negotiation with developers on the Clipstone Park (planning application CB/11/02827/OUT) site could take place, with a view to using any capital receipts to fund purchase of a more suitable site or indeed the refurbishment of an existing appropriately located building.
The Group was advised that the next step for Leighton-Linslade was development of an outline business case, investigation into funding streams and consultation. It was noted that the Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group was due to become an Integrated Care Service with two Boards, one at strategic level.
It was clarified that the service modelling work, now intended to be undertaken in 2022, would inform which services were needed to be provided from a health hub site and that these services would be specific to Leighton-Linslade. Services could include social care and mental health services, as was the case for the Dunstable hub. Social prescribing was being offered in Dunstable and should also be available for Leighton-Linslade.
The Task and Finish Group expressed frustration that despite being the largest town in Central Bedfordshire and subject to significant housing growth over recent years, the Leighton-Linslade hub would possibly be the last to be delivered. It was noted that initial discussions regarding a shared site had not been welcomed by individual GP Practices and that this had contributed to the delay in Leighton-Linslade. It was understood that GP Practices were now working more closely together in the provision of local healthcare services across their sites. Concern was voiced that the financial interests of the three current surgeries might present a conflict of interest in the development of a Leighton-Linslade Hub. The Group was also concerned to ensure that any funds or potential sites earmarked for health facilities would not be lost or otherwise distributed as had happened in the past.