NHS MK's future

14 February 2011, 10:51 | Updated: 1 March 2011, 12:59

Local people have been having their say about service changes and cuts to their local NHS. There is still plenty of time to join in the discussion, which ends on Friday 25 February.

Local people can have their say through NHS MK's website, by email, post, telephone, or by coming to one of the public meetings which are being held. There are two public meetings this week: Tuesday 15 February at Newport Pagnell Library from 6pm to 7.30pm and on Friday 18 February at Age Concern, Peartree Bridge between 9.15am and 10.45am. 

The NHS is facing its toughest financial challenge since its inception in 1948 and the biggest and most radical reorganisation it has ever been asked to undertake. The Government has pledged the NHS will receive real terms increases in funding.  However, the increases will only be in line with inflation and will not cover the new demands that arise from a growing, ageing, longer-living population and the introduction of new technologies. 

All of this means if NHS MK kept doing the same things it does now, in the same way, the NHS in Milton Keynes would spend £104million more than its income by 2015. That’s from a budget that currently stands at £360million. So, things will have to change.

During the next financial year, NHS Milton Keynes will have to make £22.6million savings to ensure the NHS can cope with these future demands. Most of these savings, £13.5million, have already been suggested; these come from proposed service changes, cuts and threshold increases to urgent care services, planned care, mental health and maternity and children’s services. These suggestions are included in a document, ‘Shaping the Future of Milton Keynes Healthcare’. You can read all the suggestions by visiting www.miltonkeynes.nhs.uk/discussion2011.htm .

Dr Nicholas Hicks, Chief Executive and the borough’s Director of Public Health said: “The local NHS has to face some significant financial challenges ahead over the next few years. Only by working together will we succeed in reshaping the way services are delivered, reducing waste and inefficiencies. NHS Milton Keynes strives always to makes sure we get value for the taxpayer's pound.

“Our priority is to improve health, reduce inequalities and provide access to high quality, safe services for the people in Milton Keynes.”

We will be ensuring the views of local people and health staff are taken into account in order to make these difficult decisions. Residents can comment on our existing savings proposals, or make suggestions for other savings. The public can join in the discussion in the following ways:

• Visit www.miltonkeynes.nhs.uk/discussion2011.htm to read NHS MK's suggestions and make your comments about them
• Email tellus@miltonkeynes.nhs.uk
• Come to one of the public meetings:
- Newport Pagnell Library, Newport Pagnell (Tuesday 15 February, 6pm to 7.30pm)
- Age UK, Peartree Bridge (Friday 18 February, 9.15am to 10.45am)
- Bradwell Abbey, City Discovery Centre (Wednesday 23 February 6pm to 7.30pm)
- Milton Keynes Council, Civic Offices, Central Milton Keynes (Thursday 24 February, 6pm to 7.30pm

Dr Hicks continued: “Thank you to everyone who has so far joined in the discussion about changes to their local NHS. Please use this chance to have your say about the future of your local health services. The discussion is open until Friday 25th February; we are looking forward to hearing your views.”

NHS Milton Keynes has undergone a staff restructure this autumn, reducing posts from 156 full time posts to 118 full time posts in order to achieve the required annual staff savings of £1.75 million. NHS Milton Keynes does not provide any frontline care to patients.