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

On the face of it, the Inspection Report by the Care Quality Commission on Bedford Hospital published on August 29th makes strong criticisms of our local hospital. I wanted to read the details to see the extent of the failings and the causes of them.

The Hospital passed one of the nine standards evaluated, had minor or moderate concerns on five standards and major concerns on three standards. Major concerns related to staffing, supporting workers and assessing and monitoring the quality of service. I was particularly concerned about the criticisms about care for the elderly and for those with dementia.

The CQC’s concerns were quite widespread across the activities of the hospital, and in some areas these concerns were significant. However, there were also positive comments to balance these concerns, and recognition by the CQC that the Hospital did provide good quality care in many cases.

The most frequent criticisms related to issues that should have been addressed by the people in charge of the Hospital’s human resources department: inconsistencies in training, lack of succession planning for replacing consultants, ineffective rosters of staff, staff shortages.

Following so quickly on the problems in providing adequate supervision in the paediatric ward, these further criticisms should focus Hospital management attention on sharpening up its human resources performance. These are manageable problems, but the Hospital has to manage them, not hope they will solve themselves. I will write to the Chair of the Hospital to ask what actions are being taken and will raise this point at the Hospital AGM next week.

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