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4 December 2013, 16:53
Four months after paediatric care was significantly reduced at Bedford Hospital, the service that allows children to stay overnight has returned.
There is however a limit and if its thought a child will need more than 23 hours of inpatient care they will be transferred to a neighbouring hospital such as Milton Keynes General.
Lead Consultant Paediatrician, Dr Andy Raffles told Heart they've been able to bring back this care since recruiting four new consultants giving them eight in total.
He says nurses have also been undergoing some training in paediatric care at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital.
Paediatric care in Bedford was forced to reduce at the start of August after trainee paediatricians were withdrawn over claims they were not being correctly managed- an inquiry into this is being carried out.
Ambulances are still not bringing children to Bedford Hospital but Dr Ruffles says this could change as early as next week:
"Providing there is a feeling that the safety aspects and the sustainability aspects can be maintained I would hope that the ambulances will be bring children back, that’s the under sixteen’s, within about a week"
Stephen Conroy, Acting Chief Executive for Bedford Hospital says:
“This latest news is another positive step in the right direction.
“We believe that families should be able to access the majority of care for their children locally and we have been working hard to develop proposals to bring back our children’s services in a safe and sustainable way.”
Director of Nursing and Quality at Bedfordshire Clinical commissioning Group, Anne Murray says:
"We are delighted that Bedford Hospital has been able to return these services safely. It is the product of much hard work on the part of the hospital's paediatrics team - and successful joint working with us as clinical commissioners."