Bedford Hospital still ‘Requires Improvement’ - and urgent services have got worse

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Urgent and emergency services have got worse at Bedford Hospital, according to the latest inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The overall rating remains at ‘Requires Improvement’, the second-lowest score out of the four available grades.

But although the trust say they are “at the upper levels of Requires Improvement,” the score for urgent and emergency services has dropped from Good to Requires Improvement.

Stephen Conroy, chief executive at Bedford Hospital, said he welcomed the report.

He told the Times & Citizen: “We will use this report to help us make further improvements wherever they are needed, including learning from those services within the trust that have improved their ratings.

“The inspectors highlighted the kind and caring nature of our staff who are treating patients with compassion in a hospital that is clean and well maintained. We are very proud of the support and dedication of our staff across the whole hospital; and this report confirms the excellent work that we do every day.

“The CQC assessment of urgent care services was disappointing for us to hear, but we have already implemented planned improvements, such as opening the new Urgent Treatment Centre which is a great improvement for patients requiring our urgent care services. It is important going forward that we collectively focus on the actions required to improve services in a sustainable way for our patients.”

Bedford Hospital is currently merging with Luton Hospital, and the two will form a brand new trust for all of Bedfordshire.

A number of services are also being merged or connected between the two hospitals and Milton Keynes Hospital, although bosses have continually stressed that maternity, paediatrics and A&E will remain “in full” at both sites.

The merger was exclusively revealed by the Times & Citizen in September 2017 and had been expected to be completed by April 2018. However it was then delayed for 12 months.

> Read more in this week’s Times & Citizen.

Background:

Bedford Hospital to be taken over by Luton & Dunstable

Hospital merger: Politicians react

Bedford Hospital may get £40m deficit written off in merger

Key services WILL remain at Bedford and Luton hospitals under merger

Bedford Hospital boss set to step down

Bedford-Luton hospitals merger delayed because of finances

Bedford and Luton hospitals merger delay: A quick guide