Milton Keynes Council is investing a further £1.3m in the Whitehouse Health Centre to provide specialist healthcare services, saving local people in need of vital facilities a two-hour round trip three times a week for help.
MK Council has already invested £9.5m to build Whitehouse Health Centre in a joint funding arrangement with the NHS. The centre formally opened in 2020 to serve the Western Expansion Area of Milton Keynes.
The Council is now due to sign 15-year lease agreements with both Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) and Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (MKUH) so that they can take up the empty first and second floors at the centre.
The spaces will be kitted with the latest facilities to provide specialist endoscopy and renal services, delivered by MKUH and OUH respectively. Patients in Milton Keynes in need of renal specialists at OUH currently may have to make a two-hour round trip three times a week to Churchill Hospital in Oxford or Stoke Mandeville in Aylesbury.
As well as signing over the leases to the OUH and MKUH, the Council is to provide £1.3m of up front funding to complete the initial fit out of one of the empty floors for the renal services delivered by Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. This money will be repaid over a longer period by OUH as part of an enhanced rent agreement.
The introduction of new specialist healthcare services consolidates the Council’s ambition to establish the site as a major health hub for MK, while also freeing up much-needed capacity at both hospitals themselves.
Cllr Rob Middleton, Cabinet Member for Resources at MK Council said: “We’re delighted to have reached an agreement to bring specialist healthcare services to patients in Milton Keynes. It’s not right that local people should have to face major disruption to access the healthcare that they need. Our new Whitehouse Medical Centre has already established itself as a vital facility and we’re pleased to be taking the services it can offer another leap forward. We’re grateful to our healthcare partners for working with us to make this happen.”
Following the agreement, work to fit out the two vacant floors at Whitehouse could start as early as January. The first patients could make use of the new facilities during the spring and summer of 2022.