Pop up clinics and evening appointments to be launched to ease NHS waiting lists in Milton Keynes
MK gets funding to treat patients whose care was disrupted by the Covid pandemic
As MK Hospital starts to return to normal after the Covid pandemic, local health bosses have today been given special funding to treat patients whose routine care was disrupted over the past year.
Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care System (BLMK ICS) has been chosen as one of 13 accelerator sites nationally to share of £160m funding and help lead an official NHS routine care recovery plan.
Local teams will now trail new ways of restoring the routine NHS care after the pandemic. Their mission is to find ways to increase the number of elective operations delivered as soon as possible
Over the next three months, plans include organising more evening and weekend working to cover people on waiting lists, and also using short term pop-up premises an 'outpatient convention centre'.
New ways of working in diagnostics and operating theatres will be explored, along with ideas to expand the capacity for diagnostic scans and imaging.
BLMK promise they will deliver fast track pilot schemes for "new and alternative ways' of working across different services.
Learning what works well in the BLMK ICS and the other ‘elective accelerator’ sites will then help form a blueprint for elective recovery which can be used across the country.
Thanks to the agile way in which the NHS responded to the Covid-19 pandemic, far more people were able to access routine tests and treatment during the second wave of the pandemic than the first. But there is still a backlog of patients and appointments that needs to be addressed as soon as possible,
With the success of the vaccine programme meaning that hospitals are now dealing with far fewer Covid cases, the NHS is now supporting all local health systems in England to treat as many patients whose care was unavoidably disrupted by the pandemic as quickly as possible.
Dr Ed Sivills, Interim Medical Director, BLMK ICS said: “Treating so many Covid patients over the past year along with additional safety measures has inevitably had a knock-on effect on non-urgent care, but with the virus in retreat thanks to the extraordinary success of the NHS vaccination programme, our mission now is to rapidly recover routine services.
“Today’s announcement is good news for patients across Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes, but also for everyone in England who is on the waiting list or thinking about coming forward for care, because by demonstrating what works well here we can help colleagues in every part of the NHS deliver care in a better way."
Dr Sivills added: "If you have been putting off seeking care and you are worried, please do come forward - the NHS has been open throughout the pandemic and we have measures in place to see you safely.”
GPs, specialists and their teams are already focusing on those on the waiting in most urgent clinical need and who have been waiting longest, with an aim by the end of July for all areas to provide over 85% of the levels of activity seen in 2019.