Many residents have raised understandable concerns regarding the provision of health care and access to GPs. I share their concerns and I am very disappointed that we have never been able to secure a community hospital or minor injuries for the town.
I have heard many residents complain about the problems they have getting GP appointments, and having to travel to Dunstable or Milton Keynes for out-of-hours care. This is not acceptable.
Any improvements to health provision in the town has to be with the support of local surgeries. To date, they have believed that the best way of improving health care for local residents was to invest in the existing surgeries – indeed, money that was ‘ring fenced’ by the NHS to provide a polyclinic (providing minor injuries and procedures) in the town was eventually given to local surgeries to expand their provision. Sadly, this investment has done little to improve the care available in the town.
The commitment from CBC to provide a health hub in the town has also been delayed by the reluctance of local surgeries to support the plan, resulting in other towns in Bedfordshire getting improved provision ahead of Leighton Buzzard.
However, local surgeries are now backing the new health hub, and several potential sites for this new facility have been identified. I will work with all stakeholders to ensure this long overdue facility is delivered in a timely manner for the town, and in the meantime I will do everything I can to improve the services available in Leighton Buzzard..