MP and council leader discuss plans for the future of health services in the Harborough district
Harborough’s council leader and MP have welcomed plans for the future of health services in Harborough.
Mr O’Brien met with representatives from a range of local NHS services, local councillors and others to talk about the forthcoming review.
NHS bosses said they have faced a real-terms cut in funding over the past decade and the Harborough MP said that GP capacity was a key factor in evolving health services – something already under way in the district.
He explained: “We already took the number of doctors in GP training from over 2,600 a year to a record 4,000 and are now growing the number to 6,000 a year – we are going to need to expand facilities so they have space to work in.
“In the government’s recent Primary Care Plan, we set out changes to planning rules so that more of the funds raised from new developments flow into investments in GP services. Drawing up this plan for Harborough will fit well with that and further improve our ability to ensure that new housing always leads to the extra GP provision that’s needed.”
Other discussion points included action to amend the signs at St Luke’s Hospital to make it clear what is available there at what times.
Mr O’Brien added residents would have opportunities to have their say about what they want to see happen locally.
“I’m also encouraged that there are plans for Leicestershire NHS to work more closely with Northamptonshire. Because Market Harborough is right on the border, we would particularly benefit from a more joined up approach.”
The meeting was hosted by Harborough District Council and chaired by council leader Cllr Phil Knowles who described the meeting as “informative, reassuring and a clear indication the NHS is determined to build on the base established at St Luke’s, the GP surgeries and more”.
He added: "It will be progressing to wide-spread community and stakeholder meetings where we can be sure we know exactly what the community needs will be. The district council is in the position to take a real and meaningful lead in this important process."
He advised details of meetings and public engagements would be publicised according to timelines determined by the Integrated Care Board.