NHS reforms

30.04.19

Delayed hospital merger at centre of Bedford mayoral election as candidates desperate to retain NHS services

A delayed merger between two hospital trusts that will save £10m to £14m “needs to happen,” according to a councillor and mayoral candidate ahead of an election race in Bedford.

Luton and Dunstable University Hospital Trust (LDUH) announced the proposals to acquire Bedford Hospital Trust (BHT) in 2017, with a completed merger planned for April 2018.

But the merger has since been delayed after the Treasury turned down a funding bid and financial agreements with NHS Improvement “were not yet in place.”

A year on and with no new date announced, the merger is now in doubt unless the government agrees to stump up £100m to pay for the project.

The hospitals are currently waiting for alternative funding plans to be worked out, and the merger has become a vital issue in the election race to become mayor, with candidates desperate to retain NHS services in in Bedford.

Gianni Carofano, a cabinet member at Bedford Borough Council, said that BHT’s merger with Luton and Dunstable “needs to happen” in order to release millions of pounds for frontline NHS services.

One of five mayoral candidates in Thursday’s Bedford mayoral election, Carofano stressed the significance of cutting running costs in half by merging the two trusts, and said: “£10-14m is a lot of money that can be invested in front line services - in doctors and nurses.”

But Labour’s mayoral candidate Jenni Jackson has expressed scepticism about the merger, stating that “perhaps the money would be far better spent extending facilities here.”

She did say that if it was the only way of retaining core NHS services in Bedford then the merger needed to go ahead quickly, whilst Green Party candidate Adrian Spurrel said the heavy delays to the merger had caused uncertainty, staff leaving and a fall in productivity.

The current mayor of Bedford, Liberal Democrat Dave Hodgson, said it was essential that Bedford retains its A&E, maternity and paediatric departments.

He stated: “There are 2,000 births in Bedford Hospital every year - no other hospital in the area can cope with these births if we don't have maternity services here.”

A joint integration board with executive representatives from both trusts continues to meet to discuss the merger plans, but in February it was reported that the trusts were considering steps in case the merger does not go ahead.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

latest healthcare news

An ageing population means hand care and injury prevention is more important than ever

23/08/2019An ageing population means hand care and injury prevention is more important than ever

Grey Giddins, member of the British Society for Surgery of the Hand, discusses how hand care and injury prevention have become increasingly impor... more >
CQC welcomes Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust improvements

22/08/2019CQC welcomes Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust improvements

Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust has been rated ‘Good’ overall by inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), a marked improve... more >
Government invests £3.3m in children and young people’s mental health

20/08/2019Government invests £3.3m in children and young people’s mental health

Local investment totalling £3.3m is set to be spent to expand 23 local projects aimed at helping prevent mental illness in children and you... more >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital e... read more >

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now beyond doubt or dispute, other than in government, th... more > more last word articles >

the scalpel's daily blog

An ageing population means hand care and injury prevention is more important than ever

23/08/2019An ageing population means hand care and injury prevention is more important than ever

Grey Giddins, member of the British Society for Surgery of the Hand, discusses how hand care and injury prevention have become increasingly important given the UK’s ageing population   It’s no secret that the UK’s ageing population presents challenges for the NHS. The fact that we are living longer means greater de... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Being on the receiving end of some “thanks” can make communit... more >
Nurses named as least-appreciated public sector workers

13/06/2019Nurses named as least-appreciated public sector workers

Nurses have been named as the most under-appreciated public sector professionals as new research reveals how shockingly under-vauled our NHS, edu... more >
Helpforce to launch training programmes for NHS volunteers

10/06/2019Helpforce to launch training programmes for NHS volunteers

Kay Fawcett OBE, clinical advisor and education lead at Helpforce, and Lynn Twinn, talent development consultant, outline the new national traini... more >
Creating the Cardigan integrated care centre

10/06/2019Creating the Cardigan integrated care centre

Peter Skitt, county director and commissioner for Ceredigion Hywel Dda University Health Board, looks ahead to the new integrated care centre bei... more >

interviews

How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

24/10/2018How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

A dedicated national social care service could be a potential solution to surging demand burdening acute health providers over the winter months,... more >
RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

24/10/2018RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

The president of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has told NHE that the college’s new headquarters based in Liverpool will become a hu... more >
Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

24/01/2018Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

The NHS plays a part in the country’s wellness – but it’s far from being all that matters. Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Pu... more >
Cutting through the fake news

22/11/2017Cutting through the fake news

In an era of so-called ‘fake news’ growing alongside a renewed focus on reducing stigma around mental health, Paul Farmer, chief exec... more >

health service focus

View all News