Bedford Hospital’s children’s A&E department is receiving vital funding as part of a £3m package to improve urgent and emergency services at the Bedford Hospital site.
The funding means Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust can address its immediate priorities of extending the capacity within the waiting areas in the emergency department, improve children’s A&E and enhance the Same Day Emergency Care (SDEC) service.
The £3m is part of an overall package of £300m announced by the Government yesterday which will be spent on upgrading A&E facilities at 117 Trusts across the country, £28.8m of which has gone to hospitals in the East of England region.
Bedford and Kempston MP, Mohammad Yasin, said that while he welcomed the funding, it is simply not enough.
Cathy Jones, Deputy Chief Executive at Bedfordshire Hospitals, said, “We are delighted to secure £3m in funding to support our long-term plans to enhance urgent and emergency care services at our Bedford Hospital site.
“We will be working closely with clinical colleagues to transform our facilities to better meet patient needs and cope with the increasing demand these services consistently experience.
“This funding will not only enable us make significant improvements for our patients but will also help us in preparing for the increased challenges that the winter months will bring.”
Mohammad Yasin, MP for Bedford and Kempston, said, “Any extra money for our hospital is welcome but given that hospitals have been dealing with the biggest public health crisis in a century – it’s simply not enough.
“The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak promised the NHS “whatever it needs” at the beginning of the Covid pandemic but has already broken the pledge after refusing to provide the £10bn cash injection requested by NHS England to avoid it being crippled by a potential second wave of the coronavirus.
“The NHS was only ‘protected’ on the back of discharging patients into social care, mass cancellation of operations, suspended cancer screenings and ill people avoiding A&E.
“Getting back on track, is a mammoth task – NHS England waiting lists are now the longest since records began and its estimated waiting lists could hit 10 million by Christmas.
“How does the Government think our hospital has time to implement big changes in existing units whilst remaining safe and efficient – all before the annual winter crisis, dealing with any rise in Covid admissions and whilst facing an unprecedented backlog in patient care?
“We need the funding that NHS England says it needs and a pay rise for staff who have worked their socks off over the last 6 months.”
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