Better care locally

Integrated health and care hubs

As pressures on the health and care services increase, we want to change the way we work to make it easier for you to access the care and support you need, locally. We are planning this through a network of integrated health and care hubs.

The hubs will be in community buildings and will bring together health and care professionals including doctors, nurses, social workers, occupational therapists and providers of other wellbeing services. Because these staff will be working in one place, it will be easier for them to coordinate their services around the needs of local people.

Working together, the hub team will offer a wide range of services, some of which could include access to GPs, community, mental health and social care services, diagnostic tests and other services traditionally provided as outpatient appointments within hospitals.

As our local population grows and advances in medicine mean that we are all expected to live longer, we want to make sure that services are accessible to everyone, whether they live in our towns or in more rural areas.

The hub is seen as a focal point for access to care locally. The range of services co-located will mean people can be better supported in the community with access to more joined-up working between hospitals and community-based services.

What the integrated health and care hubs could offer

Providing access to care seven days a week, these hubs may also include a range of additional services which may include, but not be limited to:

  • extended GP services on a 7-day-a-week basis
  • enhanced services delivered by and across practices, eg minor injury and minor illness services, clinics to support patients with long-term conditions
  • face-to-face out of hours consultations
  • community pharmacy
  • rehabilitation and reablement facilities
  • outreach services from local acute hospitals and specialist services, e.g. outpatient appointments and other specialist consultations
  • less complex diagnostics
  • multi-agency team to support people in their own homes
  • public health and prevention services, e.g. stop smoking services, NHS Health Checks, lifestyle hubs
  • wellbeing services and community mental health services
  • voluntary and carer support services

These hubs will become a focal point in their neighbourhoods and should offer a range of wider community services led by the community and voluntary sector for example, in the form of cnformation centres and community cafés.

Why do we need integrated health and care hubs?

Central Bedfordshire has an expanding and ageing population who have a right to expect quality health and care services. There is no hospital within the area and those hospitals that are used by our residents (in Bedford, Luton, Milton Keynes, Stevenage, Cambridgeshire and elsewhere) are facing unprecedented pressures.

We need a more innovative approach to shift the balance of care from hospitals to communities, without placing further burdens on busy GP surgeries. 

Delivering better care locally is key to reducing financial and activity pressures across health services and social care.  Joined-up teams of staff, working under one roof in the community will better coordinated services and therefore better outcomes for you.

Where will the integrated health and care hubs be?

The emerging model sees services being delivered through a number of integrated health and care hubs across our four main localities and potentially Houghton Regis, due to the expanding housing growth. The hubs will be aligned to “spokes” – in other words, more local service points, providing access to services in areas such as rural settings.


The development of the Grove View Integrated Health and Care Hub for residents of Dunstable, the surrounding area and villages is underway and making excellent progress. Find out more and sign up for email updates on the hub’s webpage.

Ivel Valley

  • nine GP practices covering 87,000 people
  • in the north, there is potential to create a healthcare hub in Biggleswade to provide non-complex outpatient and diagnostics services for the locality and primary care services for northern Ivel Valley by moving two Biggleswade practices into the hub and keeping the remaining practices as GP spokes
  • 93 room extra care accommodation is planned

Leighton Buzzard

  • the smallest locality in Central Bedfordshire
  • three GP practices, serving a registered population of around 48,000
  • potential to consolidate three practices into a single healthcare hub
  • a 68-bed care home is planned in the area

West Mid Beds

  • has seven GP practices covering a largely rural area with two main towns – Ampthill and Flitwick – and a number of small towns and villages (total population in the area is around 74,000)
  • there is an opportunity to consolidate two-three GP practices into a GP hub and retain the rural practices as spokes
  • 70-room care home, 95-room extra care home and 7-room respite care unit planned

Houghton Regis

  • Houghton Regis is part of the Chiltern Vale locality and three of the practices cover this area with a population of 32,000
  • there is potential to develop a hub that will provide some GP, community and social care services in the new housing developments in HRN2
  • 168 beds extra care accommodation and reablement suite is planned