To receive and consider three information papers provided by Councillor Steve Owen and agree any next steps (attached).
The Task and Finish Group had received three information papers from Councillor S Owen in advance of the meeting. The first provided a summary of the situation in respect of an integrated health hub. The second contained an exchange of correspondence between the Clinical Commissioning Group, Central Bedfordshire Council and Councillor Owen in respect of planning applications and requests for S106 developer contributions towards health facilities. The third was notes from a meeting held at Bassett Road GP Practice on 8 April 2022.
Councillor Owen gave an introduction in which he advised his understanding that the local GP practices were supportive of the concept of an integrated health hub as separate from a fourth GP surgery on the eastern urban extension. It was also understood that no dialogue had taken place between the GP practices (Primary Care Network) and the CCG/local authority on this matter.
Councillor Owen reported that S106 contributions had been sought on a number of planning applications and therefore there would be monies held for healthcare in Leighton-Linslade (although the details were unknown). It was also understood that Government funding streams had been accessed for the Dunstable and Biggleswade hubs and this ought to therefore also be available for the other three proposed hubs. Finally, Councillor Owen questioned why there had still been no progression in terms of sharing information with the Town Council including the strategic outline case and the thinking regarding possible locations for a health hub.
Mr Selous advised he had received a letter from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing & Communities stating that £5.5m in developer contributions was available for allocation within the Central Bedfordshire local planning authority area. Central Bedfordshire Council’s Infrastructure Funding Statement described this being available for healthcare provision generally, rather than GP practices specifically. It was Central Bedfordshire Council’s decision to allocate the funds appropriately.
Mr Selous also highlighted the imminent transition of BLMK CCG to an Integrated Care Board. This would become a legal organisation taking on the responsibilities of the CCG from 1 July 2022. The new name would be the Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Health and Care Partnership.
The need for initiatives and services to support mental health and social isolation was repeated but that GPs were unable to access funding to run social prescribing activities. Mr Selous advised there were various funds councils could bid for but he was not aware of a specific fund for social prescribing activities.
The group agreed it was completely supportive of the provision of local services to save residents from having to travel elsewhere and it was hoped that at the next meeting, representatives of the local authority and the new BLMK HCP would be able to provide a more specific update in respect of local healthcare services. It was hoped that the next meeting, with all parties present, could take place in July/August.
Prior to this, it was suggested that an official Town Council report be presented to the Central Bedfordshire Health and Wellbeing Board (next meeting scheduled for 13 July 2022). It was suggested that a specific agenda item be sought for that meeting and Councillor Bowater agreed to approach the Chair about this. It was agreed that an official report should be drafted which could then be circulated to the GP practices for any additional comment prior to the Health and Wellbeing Board meeting.
It was noted that the Luton & Dunstable Hospital had had involvement in the development of the Dunstable hub and suggested that the Chief Executive Officer be contacted in respect of services in Leighton-Linslade. Mr Selous agreed to make contact on behalf of the group and to provide any response back.
Councillor Harvey agreed to make enquiries at Central Bedfordshire Council in respect of S106 contributions held for healthcare provision.
RESOLVED to develop an official report for submission to the Central Bedfordshire Health and Wellbeing Board ahead of the next meeting of the Task and Finish Group, which it was hoped all parties would be able to attend to share information.