Children’s A&E department reopens

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Ambulances can now take children to Bedford Hospital.

On Tuesday (January 21) Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group gave permission for ambulances responding to 999 calls to take children straight to the hospital’s A&E department.

This latest development means that all children’s services except longer inpatient stays have returned to Bedford Hospital.

Lead consultant paediatrician, Dr Andy Raffles, said: “This announcement will be welcome news for local families whose children can now be cared for at Bedford Hospital whether they dial 999, turn up to A&E or visit their GP.

“This will help take away some of the anxiety of not knowing where their child might be taken if they needed to dial 999 and means even more care can be delivered locally again, with less travelling for families

“The move also reflects the confidence of our commissioners that we are able to provide safe, high quality and modern paediatric services for local children.”

If it is expected that a child will need more than an overnight stay for a longer period of treatment they will be referred to another inpatient paediatric unit.

Stephen Conroy, chief executive for Bedford Hospital, said: “The return to date of virtually all our children’s services has been made possible thanks to the passion and commitment shown by our paediatrics team, who have redesigned and improved our services.”