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Consultation – Aligning policies across Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes

This consultation closed on 21 December 2021

BLMK CCG Policy Alignment

At the meeting held on 29 March 2022, the Governing Body made a decision on three areas of policy alignment that had been subject to Public Consultation from 12 October 2021 to 21 December 2021.

The three areas consulted on were specialist fertility services, gluten-free food on prescription and the Milton Keynes Pharmacy First Minor Ailment scheme.

The decisions made in each policy area were:

Fertility Services

The IVF policy will be extended to offer specialist fertility services to same sex female couples, single females, trans men and non-binary people, who are currently unable to access fertility services under existing policies. The current offer of three cycles of IVF to residents in Luton will be reduced to one cycle for all eligible residents, bringing Luton into line with the rest of Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes. Responding to feedback from the consultation the Governing Body agreed that the one cycle offered will be adapted to include one fresh and three frozen embryo transfers, to increase the attempts at pregnancy, compared with the one cycle currently offered in Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes.

Gluten-free food on prescription

To withdraw the gluten-free bread and flour available on prescription in Luton, in line with Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes. The Governing Body however recognised increases in the cost of living and the pressures on households and agreed to make provision in the policy to allow residents who are at risk of dietary neglect to access gluten-free foods on prescription, where required.

Milton Keynes Pharmacy First Minor Ailment Scheme

In line with national priorities the roll out of the Community Pharmacy Consultation Scheme (CPCS) will continue with GP practices in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes, in order to do this the Governing Body took the decision to withdraw the Pharmacy First Minor Ailment Scheme in Milton Keynes.  This aligns the service with the current offering in Bedfordshire and Luton. The CPCS scheme allows for referral direct from the practice to the pharmacy for patients who require a consultation for minor illness, without having to go through the GP first.

21.03.2022

Consultation Report

The consultation report on the BLMK CCG Policy Alignment Consultation in now available to view. The findings of the report will be discussed at the BLMK CCG Governing Body meeting on 29 March 2022. For details of the Governing Body meeting and to view the meeting papers, click here.
To view the consultation report, please visit our key documents and links page.

BLMK CCG has taken the decision to postpone the submission of the paper on the policy alignment consultation to the Governing Body. Many clinicians involved in the consultation have been deployed to the Omicron Covid effort in the last few months. They have therefore not had the opportunity to review the results of the consultation, and adequate time to consider the recommendation to the Governing Body.

The original timeline was for a decision to have been made by April 2022, in line with the BLMK ICS transition to an Integrated Care Board (ICB). As the establishment of ICB’s has been delayed nationally until 1 July, we have more time to ensure final recommendations have been well considered.

The final paper and recommendations will now be on the agenda for the Governing Body meeting on the 29 March 2022. New policies will be finalised in time for the creation of the ICB on the 1 July 2022.

This consultation is about aligning policies across Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes.

In 2021 the three former Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes merged to become one organisation.  Most of the existing policies for each area were very similar, however the three policies below had clear differences. In order to provide equal access to services we need to move to a single policy for each service.

The Case for Change document provides information so that you can understand the differences between the policies and give your views on our proposals:

  • Fertility Services – Make Fertility service available to a broader group of residents (including those with specific protected characteristics to whom the service was not previously available) to ensure equal access to the service. This will include a review of the number of cycles of In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) available.
  • Bringing all the three former CCG areas in regarding access to:
    • Milton Keynes Pharmacy First Minor Ailment Scheme (currently only available in Milton Keynes)
    • Gluten-Free Food Prescribing (currently only access to bread and flour and only available in Luton)

We want your views

We really want as many people as possible to share their views and help shape our policies so there is equal access to the services we commission, and that we are using the available budget in the most appropriate way to best meet the needs of the local population.

This consultation will run from Tuesday 12 October to midnight on Tuesday 21 December 2021.

To view the consultation documents, please visit our key documents and links page.

The consultation questionnaire can be found HERE

Any questions?

If you have any questions regarding our consultation on Aligning Policies across BLMK, you’re welcome to join one of our public engagement sessions.

You’ll need to register in advance for the ‘virtual’ (online) session so we can send you joining instructions.  The session will take place on MS Teams.

Please click on the link below to register your place at a virtual session.  

Places will be allocated on a first-come basis for the virtual (online) sessions.  The number of places will be limited in order to give everyone attending an opportunity to ask their questions.    If the sessions are over-subscribed, we’ll look to add additional dates.

Virtual meeting (online using MS Teams)

Drop-in session at Tokko Youth Space, Luton  (registration is not required)

  • Friday 19 November, 10:30 – 12 noon at Tokko Youth Space, 7 Gordon Street, Luton  LU1 2QP  (we’ll be in the multi-purpose room)

Please feel free to ‘drop-in’ anytime between 10:30 and 12noon to speak to a member of the program team.

To help keep everyone safe:

  • please do not attend if you or any member of your household has Covid-19 symptoms
  • we encourage everyone to wear a mask or face-covering and use hand-sanitiser
  • we ask everyone to be respectful of others by keeping your distance
  • we encourage anyone to take a rapid lateral flow test (LFT) before attending.  A lateral flow testing is a fast and simple way to  test people who do not have the symptoms of Covid-19, but who may still be spreading the virus