Working for the future of Bedford & Kempston

Please note: This site covers the period that I was a Member of Parliament from May 2010 to June 2017. 

Bedford Hospital has recently announced that it is making changes to the provision of some paediatric services at Bedford Hospital. This is as a result of failings of clinical oversight of junior doctors in the paediatrics department. Like many local residents, I am very concerned about the impact of the changes on families in Bedford and Kempston and I am working with Alistair Burt MP and Nadine Dorries MP to help find a solution.

Full details of the changes that have been made to paediatrics are available here.

The Hospital will continue to provide a minor injuries service for children in A&E, children’s outpatient clinics, the Day Unit, and nurse-led care for children with chronic or long-term conditions. Maternity services and neonatal services are unaffected and continue to run as normal.

Patient safety must come first and the decisions that have been made have been taken on that basis by clinicians, including the Hospital, NHS England, the NHS Trust Development Authority, Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and the East of England Ambulance Trust.

Last week, I spent two hours at the Hospital visiting Riverbank ward and talking with nurses, patients, doctors and parents. We have a first class team locally and we can be proud of their commitment in these difficult times.

Alistair Burt and I have called for an independent inquiry and this has now been agreed. In this era of transparency in the NHS I believe it is important that the public know why concerns with clinical supervision of junior doctors in this department persisted for so long, what remedies had been attempted, and why these fell short of a satisfactory solution. I hope the Hospital will be open to including a trusted member of the Bedford community – not connected to the Hospital – as part of the inquiry.

I am maintaining contact with the Chief Executive of the Hospital and with the head of the Clinical Commissioning Group as I will want, as I know that you will, to ensure that the Hospital takes all steps to resolve this unsatisfactory situation and to restore full paediatric services to Bedford.

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