Milton Keynes health services face total meltdown, says council leader

Pete Marland
Pete Marland

The city’s NHS and social care services could face a “major system-wide failure” unless the government supplies more cash, the leader of the council has predicted.

The plight of overstretched MK hospital and the struggle to finance care this week prompted a plea to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt for a thorough review of city funding.

Council leader Pete Marland told Mr Hunt cash for local NHS and social care services has failed for years to keep pace with MK’s rapid population growth.

Thousands of people who formed the young population of the ‘new city’ 50 years ago are now reaching old age, meaning the budget faces extra pressure.

Pete said: “Our health and social care systems are facing a funding crisis...We are being pushed to the limit.”

He added: “Failure to act swiftly on the financial and demographic pressure facing Milton Keynes will likely result in a major city-wide failure....We cannot go on like this.”

The letter urges Mr Hunt to establish an independent review into the level of government funding MK receives for health and social care, taking into account its “unique” population growth and demographics.

The number of old people in MK is set to grow dramatically and reach 49,000 in 2026. There will be a 66,9 per cent increase in the over 80s.

Meanwhile the number of people suffering from dementia is set to rise by 100 per cent in the same timeframe.

Pete said; “MK Council does not have the historic tax base funding to support these service needs.”

He said the hospital itself is under “massive pressure”, and this situation is set to continue over the winter months,

“I believe the fantastic work of the hospital staff will keep patients safe and I would like to say a big thank you to them. But the only long term solution is Fair funding for MK hospital.”

Pete finishes his letter with an offer to meet Mr Hunt to discuss the problems further.