Bedford Childrens Ward Closure

Now, like many other parents in the central Bedfordshire area I am fuming. I am incredibly worried for the welfare of my children. It has recently been announced that Bedford hospital’s Riverbank Ward is closing its doors.

There are lots of things being said online and by word-of-mouth, and the general picture that I have gained from this story is that the hospital are removing junior medical trainees from the peadiatric department, AKA The Riverbank ward, situated in the same block as Cygnet Wing, the maternity department.

Taken from BedfordToday website- “From 1 August 2013, the Trust will, in the short term, NO LONGER provide:

Planned overnight inpatient care (on Riverbank Ward) for children having planned (elective) surgery, or planned medical procedures or care. Children will be cared for by their Bedford consultant at Milton Keynes Hospital (or another neighbouring hospital)

– Emergency overnight inpatient care (on Riverbank Ward) as there will be no emergency admissions from 31 July

– Children’s Accident and Emergency (children brought to hospital by ambulance will go straight to the next nearest hospital. Children (those aged up to 19) should not be brought to A&E as walk in patients from 1 August.

– Children’s Assessment Unit, for children requiring short-stay observation following attendance at A&E (as there will be no emergency admissions from 31 July)”

The main part of these changes, which scares me the most is that children under the age of 19, can no longer be brought into Bedford hospitals’ A&E. We now have to choose another hospital local… Milton Keynes General, Luton Hospital or Stevenage Lister Hospital. All quite a bit more of a distance than I would like to travel! Personally, this will affect my 5 week old, my 16 month old and my 13 year old sister.

I know an ambulance can be called in an emergency and I am sure the journey will be made as quickly as possible, but those few extra minutes could be a matter of life and death! And when we have been seen and discharged, then what?! With no car, traveling back from these hospitals would be a problem (We can catch a bus from outside Bedford hospial, and be dropped off by our house.) or what if our children had to stay in overnight and we had to go home? Travelling backwards and forwards each day and night is going to be difficult and a longer journey, meaning I am to be away from my babies for even longer.

We will just have to see what happens to Riverbank ward, and how soon this ‘problem’ is fixed. Myself and I am sure every other Bedfordshire parent are most definatly not happy about this. It makes me realise what a scary world we live in…. almost going back in time!

Families or young people with concerns about how the changes may affect them should contact Riverbank Ward on 01234 730500.

Stephen Conry acting chief exec of Bedford Hospital, this image is taken from the Bedford Today website, and the image is for article published on thier website about the Riverbank Closure. How can he have the nerve to SMILE….. riverbank cloure

Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 daughters and a son, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting and gardening brands.

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1 Comment

  1. sarah walton says:

    Go on mums of bedford fb page and theres a link to a meeting happening on thur u can go to voice your options x

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