This week’s news that the first phase of work to expand our A&E department has already begun is fantastic news and a clear sign of the confidence the government has in our hospital, writes Mark Lancaster MP.
With an election coming, we all know why some people are keen to talk our hospital down, but I always have been and always will be a great supporter.
Despite an increase in budget of over £20m for the hospital in the next few years the cost of healthcare continues to rise.
We have heard much of the current review in how we can work more closely with Bedford and it is right that we do.
The vision is a worthy one; to provide better care, closer to people’s homes by expanding the range of services available at GP services and in the community.
For example, of the likely outcomes will be the ability for extended opening hours of GPs’ surgeries to allow greater access. This in turn will enable the hospital to concentrate its skills and resources on treating patients who need care that can only be delivered in a hospital.
I fully expect that after the review our hospital’s status will remain unchanged and most likely enhanced, as this will future proof against continuing expansion of the city.
We currently have a hospital with the range of services aimed at a catchment area of between 500-700,000 people, far bigger than the current MK population but justified if we work more closely with Bedford.
Having always campaigned for ‘I before E’ or ‘Infrastructure before Expansion’, I am convinced our hospital will continue to grow,
Just look at the signs, an expanding A&E and a new teaching facility already on its way.
But please think carefully about where is the right place to go to get help. It may surprise some that four out of 10 people who attend the A&E leave having had no treatment at all putting unnecessary pressure on the system.
We have fantastic healthcare workers here in the city, at the hospital, doctor’s surgeries and pharmacies; by working together with them I know healthcare will have a bright future here in the city.