Another healthcare u-turn: A history of Milton Keynes' numerous reviews over the last five years

Milton Keynes' healthcare may be subject to two simultaneous reviews at present, but these are hardly the first examples of bureaucrats looking to overhaul the city's health system.

Thursday, 4th August 2016, 11:40 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 8:03 pm
File photo dated 25/01/13 of a model posing with a stethoscope around their neck as health workers must do more to ensure patients can understand the advice they have been given, leading doctors have said. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday June 18, 2014. The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) said many people find health information "too complicated". If people do not understand the advice given to them, they are at higher risk of emergency admission into hospital and serious health conditions, a spokeswoman said. See PA story HEALTH GPs. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire YPN-140618-160210050

The most ambitious scheme was Healthier Together, which aimed to combine five different hospitals – Bedford, Kettering, Luton & Dunstable, Milton Keynes and Northampton. This was scrapped in 2013, but only after costing £2.2million.

At the same time there were proposals to merge both Bedford and Milton Keynes hospitals into a single trust. This too was scrapped in 2013, but it coincided with various senior figures moving from Bedford to MK, including chief executive Joe Harrison.

In recent months Bedford Borough Council has independently launched its own health review, aimed at staving off any services being closed as a result of pooling resources with Milton Keynes.

And the team behind the current MK and Bedford Healthcare Review were forced into a humiliating climbdown in June, after announcing plans to close Bedford’s maternity unit – only to backtrack days later.