Hospital patients in Milton Keynes “have been let down for far too long” the government have admitted.
MPs discussed the Bedford and Milton Keynes Healthcare Review in the House Of Commons on Tuesday (June 28), after an adjournment debate was called by Bedford and Kempston MP Richard Fuller.
While he spoke in glowing terms about Bedford Hospital, he was scathing about the ongoing uncertainty over health services - and called for the £4.5million review to be scrapped.
Mr Fuller asked Parliament: “What is the logic is behind continuing the Bedford and Milton Keynes healthcare Review?
“It has no local support from the people or the local clinicians of Bedford. It has no respect for the public, given the way in which it puts out pronouncements and then runs away. It does not even fit with NHS national strategy.
“In those circumstances, a pause is not good enough. It is time this review was killed off—ended, kaput, no more! The people who go to our hospital want to know that they can look to and trust a single process in relation to the future of that hospital, and the people who work in that hospital want to have the confidence that they can control its future on behalf of their patients.
“The nonsense of the review carrying on is affecting my constituents and my local doctors. It is also disrupting the national strategy of the NHS.”
Health services were first reviewed in the region with the Healthier Together Review of five hospitals in 2011.
However this study was eventually shelved after costing £2.2million, and succeeded by the current review which has so far cost £4.5million.
Government minister Ben Gummer, Parliamentary under-secretary of state for health, admitted: “I completely understand my hon. friend’s frustration. He has been let down, and his community has been let down.
“This has been going on for far too long— its current phase goes back to the mid-2000s. That is not acceptable.
“There is one thing worse than making a bad decision or a mediocre decision, and that is putting off making a bad or mediocre decision and putting everything into chaos in the meantime.”
Milton Keynes MPs Mark Lancaster and Iain Stewart were not available for comment.