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Leader calls on health secretary for care funding review

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The leader of Milton Keynes Council has called on Jeremy Hunt to launch an independent review of health and social care funding in the town.

In a letter to the health secretary, Peter Marland (Lab) argued that a fast-growing and ageing population made Milton Keynes’ situation unique, and that health and social care in the city was facing “a funding crisis”.

His call to government follows a statement from Milton Keynes Hospital earlier this week, acknowledging “significant pressure” on services, with around 450 patients admitted to A&E each day.

Milton Keynes’ population is growing fast - it is now approaching 300,000 - but the town also faces the challenge of accommodating a rapidly ageing population.

Cllr Marland said: “The number of people over 65 will rise by 65% by 2026, and the number of people with dementia will rise by 100% in the same timeframe.”

Milton Keynes Council has made £130m savings since 2010, with a further £14m planned for the coming financial year. Cllr Marland described the financial position as “bleak”, echoing repeated calls Local Government Association.

He said: “Cuts to council services impact on the day to day operational budget of the NHS, but like all local authorities we will be faced with no other option in future budget rounds but to reduce services unless alternative funding can be found. Our health and social care system are therefore facing a funding crisis.”

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