Nurses will not support Bedford Hospital restructure if it ‘compromises patient safety’

NURSES have raised concerns a review into the future of Bedford Hospital is being ‘rushed through without proper engagement with staff’.

The Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) – which will decide how the three hospitals work together in the future and could see frontline services axed – was launched after two previous multi-million pound studies failed.

Nurses working in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire must be fully involved in the planning and introduction of the radical plan to reform health services, the new Eastern Regional Director for the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has said.

Teresa Budrey, who spent more than 20 years working in NHS learning disabilities nursing services before joining the RCN, said STPs have the potential to help prevent ill health and deliver care in the most appropriate settings for patients.

But she said the plans needed to be honest about the real cost of providing services to the communities they served, as well as providing full information about how staff – including nurses and healthcare assistants – will be affected.