Bedford’s £10million on healthcare reviews: “£10m which could have gone on health”?

Bedford Borough Mayor Dave Hodgson. PNL-151216-140348001
Bedford Borough Mayor Dave Hodgson. PNL-151216-140348001

Health bosses have been challenged to explain why they have spent £10million on a series of reviews since 2011, following last week’s proposal to merge Bedford and Luton hospitals.

Since 2011 the region’s NHS chiefs have had three separate reviews at how healthcare could be overhauled to provide better services for less money.

MBTC-Bedford Hospital South Wing. ENGPNL00120130508095221

MBTC-Bedford Hospital South Wing. ENGPNL00120130508095221

Yet ironically none of these reviews have actually led to the most important proposed change – the merger between Bedford and Luton.

Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “Seven years and around £10 million have been wasted on reviews which have considered major cuts and closures of vital hospital units.

“It’s painful to think of how all that time and money could have been invested in improving care.”

In 2011 healthcare bosses began Healthier Together, an extremely ambitious scheme which would have merged five hospitals in Bedford, Luton, Milton Keynes, Northampton and Corby. This cost £2.2million.

This was followed by the Bedford and Milton Keynes Healthcare Review, which cost upwards of £4.5million.

Finally the Strategic Transformation Partnership is still ongoing, linking services 
between Bedford, Luton and 
Milton Keynes.

A spokesperson for Beds Clinical Commissioning Group said: “The aim has 
always been to provide the best possible patient care and services to the increasing 
local population and address the challenges facing our local hospitals.”