Health bosses explore “alternative approaches to funding” for four “unaffordable” schemes

Health bosses explore “alternative approaches to funding” for four “unaffordable” schemes

Local health chiefs will work with partners to explore options and alternative funding options to support services in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes, a meeting said.

The BLMK Integrated Care Board (Friday, January 27) heard that the extraordinary Primary Care Commissioning and Assurance Committee (PPC&AC) meeting held earlier in the month was “well attended” and attracted “a lot of media attention”.

The purpose of the meeting was to get the result of a “solid” prioritization, to recommend a preliminary budget and to approve the list of basic programs to be supported.

The four programs in Bedford Borough that could be considered for alternative funding (Image: LDRS)

Before asking the Board to take note of the PCC&AC’s resolutions, Alison Borrett, the Committee Chair, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to correct some of the factual inaccuracies that were reported of the meeting.

“This way we can be clear about what has been agreed – and what has not.

Ms. Borrett then reads out a short statement.

“Many GP practices and Primary Care Networks (PCNs) across BLMK are looking to upgrade their premises to meet the growing needs of their local populations,” she said.

“These efforts include, but are not limited to, the development of new spaces, expansions of existing spaces, and the relocation and consolidation of existing practices into integrated health and social centers,” she said.

Ms Borrett said that to support these ambitions, BLMK ICB intends to invest an additional £1.95m a year in basic service properties.

“This represents a 22 per cent increase in ICB investment in basic services, bringing the total amount spent on basic service properties to just under £11m a year by 2025/26,” she said.

“This additional funding will allow 23 local projects to progress, benefiting a wide range of communities in Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes.

“Unfortunately, ICB’s current revenue budget for primary care services has not been able to support all those GP practices and primary care networks looking to make improvements.

“The ICB’s Estates team conducted a robust prioritization exercise based on national criteria with aligned clinical leadership.

“My committee decided on January 11th that 23 programs can be supported.

“Details of the criteria used to make decisions are set out on the ICB’s website.

“My committee decided that 30 programs could not be supported at this point.

“The ICB will work with partners to explore ways to advance these programs, including alternative funding approaches, and will continue to support practices and PCNs to address operational stresses as needed.

“More information for residents, including the list of supported programs, is available on the ICB’s website,” she said.

The Board noted the decisions of the Primary Care Commissioning and Assurance Committee.

by JohnGuinn
Local democracy reporter

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