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Children's A & E Services

A&E FOR CHILDREN WITH MINOR INJURIES WILL REMAIN OPEN

BEDFORD Hospital’s A&E department WILL continue to treat children for minor injuries that cannot be dealt with by a GP after changes to other paediatric services come into force on 1 August 2013.

This will mean children can be seen and treated for minor injuries such as stitching a wound or taking an x-ray.

The decision to keep A&E open for children who need treatment for minor injuries was made as part of ongoing discussions around keeping safe services for patients on the hospital site, with the situation under continuous review.

Bedford Hospital’s A&E department will now continue to provide a service for children with minor injuries, who can be treated and discharged.

Any child who is brought to A&E and needs observation or admission to hospital, will be stabilized (if necessary) and transferred by ambulance to Milton Keynes Hospital (or another neighbouring hospital). Children will be assessed and treated by emergency medicine consultants with the support of specialist paediatric nurses.

Ambulances will not bring sick children to Bedford Hospital’s A&E department (from 21 July), but will instead take children directly to the next nearest hospital with a full paediatric service.

Bedford Hospital will have no short stay assessment or inpatient facility for children from 1 August 2013.

The hospital will continue to provide children’s outpatients services, a day unit facility and nurse-led care for children with chronic or long-term conditions.

Around 50 children attend Bedford’s A&E department every day, with approximately five needing to be admitted to hospital for further care.

Riverbank Ward admits around two patients each week for planned overnight care. Around 290 children use the open access system at Riverbank Ward for ongoing care. These families are being contacted directly by the hospital to explain what changes to services mean for them.

Acting Chief Executive, Stephen Conroy, said: “We are listening to local people and doing as much as we possibly can to minimize the impact changes to children’s services will have on families in Bedford while ensuring the safety of patients.

“We have today (Friday, 19 July) agreed with Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, the NHS Trust Development Authority and NHS England, that we will continue to provide a service for children with minor injuries in A&E after 1 August.

“This means children can be seen and treated for minor injuries that cannot be dealt with by a GP - for example, stitching a wound or taking an x-ray.

“Children who need observation or admission to hospital will still be transferred to Milton Keynes Hospital or another neighbouring hospital (after 1 August) as Bedford will not have a children’s assessment unit or inpatient ward.

“The advice to parents is still to dial 999 if their child needs emergency care, and to use GP surgeries or out of hours GP services for routine health care and as a first port of call for minor injuries and illnesses.

“I am pleased we are now able to keep A&E open for children who need treatment for minor injuries, although clearly the changes to children’s services at the hospital from 1 August remain significant. We continue to work with health partners to find a sustainable solution for delivering all paediatric services safely.

“We will continue to listen to and involve local people in what is happening, and will be doing as much as possible to inform families about changes to children’s services at the hospital.”

For information about how changes to services may affect your child’s care call 01234 730500.

Notes to Editors

Minor illness or injuries

  • Pharmacy
  • GP surgery
  • Walk-in centre (Putnoe)
  • A&E walk-in for minor injuries

 

Emergency care

  • Dial 999 for an ambulance
  • Children brought to Bedford Hospital A&E who need observation or admission will be stablised and transferred to a neighbouring hospital with a full paediatric service

 

Planned and ongoing/ continuing care

  • Parents with open access to Riverbank Ward will receive a letter with a detailed care plan for their child
  • Parents with children who need specialist nurse-led care will continue to be able to access that care at Bedford Hospital
  • Children who need ‘day case’ surgery or medical procedures will continue to receive that care at Bedford Hospital
  • Children who need planned operations or medical procedures with an overnight stay (as an inpatient) will receive that planned care at another hospital
  • Outpatient appointments for children continue to run as normal at Bedford Hospital