Paediatric situation critical declares UNISON

The news that in-patient paediatric services for Bedford are unlikely to be returning to the Bedford Hospital NHS Trust is bad news for the dedicated staff, the community and is ‘situation critical’ for those with children who rely on these services to be delivered locally.

This is on the back of at least one reported incident since the cessation of services in Bedford involving a child, their family and their reported bad experiences of the changes to the service provision.

Cheryl Godber, UNISON Eastern regional organiser said of the news; “This is exactly what we predicted when the services were moved ‘temporarily’ to Milton Keynes. We had asked Bedford Hospital about this situation and had been reassured that paediatric services would return. This is a critical situation of uncertainty for all those children and their families who rely on such services being available locally and not many miles away.”

Liam McKeating, UNISON branch secretary at Bedford borough also commented on the breaking news; “To hear this news, about the unlikelihood of the return of in-patient paediatric services to Bedford, from the medical director of Milton Keynes and not from Bedford Hospital itself just shows a total disregard and disrespect for those staff who have been delivering good, quality paediatric services and the Bedford community who rely on those services being delivered locally.

“It really doesn’t give anyone any faith in a public consultation on how paediatric services for Bedfordshire will be delivered in the future, as it seems that in all likelihood those decisions have already been made.”  
UNISON locally has pledged to continue with is support to the local community campaign to bring full paediatric services back to Bedford.