Owing to government restrictions on public gatherings, local health bosses have adopted innovative ways of seeking the public’s views on the proposed creation of a single clinical commissioning group that will be responsible for procuring many of the region’s health services from April 2021.
Their latest idea saw Healthwatch representatives from Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes attend an online roundtable discussion, where they quizzed a panel of GPs on the proposal and what it would mean for patients and local services.
Maxine Taffetani, chief executive officer of Healthwatch Milton Keynes, said: “The roundtable discussion was a great opportunity to ask local clinicians their views on the plans and share the concerns that we know from our own work are being raised by residents across Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes.”
Among the topics discussed were the structure of the new CCG and how it will work closely with other organisations, such as local authorities; the importance of not only retaining excellent local services but expanding them to other areas; and the strengthening of the relationship with Healthwatch to ensure the patient voice continues to be heard.
At the end of the event Ms Taffetani said: “The GPs were able to provide some clarity on some of these concerns and I would urge anyone with questions to watch the recording of the meeting.”
A filmed recording of the roundtable discussion is available on YouTube.
Further public engagement on forming a single clinical commissioning group for BLMK is currently taking place in the form of an online survey. Anyone living in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes can complete the survey which closes on 13 September 2020.
Notes to editors
Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Commissioning Collaborative
In November 2018/19, the three NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes formed a new Commissioning Collaborative. This partnership, which has created a single executive team leading the three CCGs while retaining their independence and local accountability, enables the executive team to look at commissioning differently and will see the CCGs move towards a more transformational approach – working with partners both within and outside of the NHS to ensure that we deliver the right care locally.
Clinical Commissioning Groups
Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are responsible for planning, organising and buying NHS-funded healthcare for their residents. This includes hospital, community health and mental health services. CCG’s are run by GPs, nurses, hospital doctors and other clinicians – the people you see whenever you come into contact with the NHS. All GP practices are members of their CCG.