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12 September 2013, 06:00
The recruitment of more Paediatric doctors at Bedford Hospital means some service will return on Monday.
It follows more than a month of disruption after the sudden withdrawal of trainee Paediatricians.
Patients under the age of 20 were being told to go to neighbouring hospitals like Milton Keynes and Northampton
But from Monday 16th September GPs will again be able to refer children directly to a consultant paediatrician based on Riverbank Children’s Day Unit for a rapid same-day assessment.
The GP referral service will be available between 9am and 10pm (with referrals accepted until 7pm), seven days a week, and will provide short-stay assessment, review and treatment for children.
If, following a GP referral, a child needs to be admitted to hospital they will continue to be transferred to Milton Keynes or another neighbouring hospital. Families can only access this service for their child through their GP.
The Riverbank Children’s Day Unit will also provide more follow-up support for children who have been treated at a neighbouring hospital. This increased ‘ambulatory’ or day care service, means children can be discharged earlier from neighbouring hospitals, receiving ongoing care and support in Bedford.
Ambulances will also be able to bring young people aged between 16 and 19 to Bedford Hospital’s A&E department for treatment. If patients in this age group need to be admitted, it will be onto an adult ward with support from paediatric staff if required.
Stephen Conroy, Acting Chief Executive for Bedford Hospital, said:
“We are working hard to bring back children’s services in a safe and sustainable way.
"We have recruited additional consultant paediatricians to deliver services, supported by our paediatric nursing team to enable us to do this and will continue to work to return services to ensure that families can access the majority of care for their children locally.”