Beds, Herts & Bucks

Bedford Hospital consultant numbers to be strengthened

The paediatric unit at Bedford Hospital is to be strengthened after trainee medical staff raised concerns.

The number of consultants available to teach trainees was deemed to be too few to provide adequate tuition.

Trainees reported the ward had only three consultants available, at times in April.

The hospital said two vacancies had been filled and recruitment was under way for two more consultants to work with trainees.

Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG), which purchases medical care for the county, has been alerted to the problem.

'Provide better support'

Dr Paul Hassan, chief clinical officer at BCCG, said: "We continue to work closely with Bedford Hospital and are satisfied that the measures they have put in place to strengthen clinical staffing mean families can be confident in the safe care their children will receive."

The hospital's medical director, Ed Neale, said: "In April 2013, concerns were raised to the Eastern Multi Professional Deanery by postgraduate trainee medical staff about the level of supervision provided in the paediatric department, particularly out of hours.

"To address these concerns the trust has, along with a number of other actions, filled two vacant consultant paediatrician posts.

"It is also recruiting two additional consultant paediatricians to provide better support to medical trainees 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"The concerns raised to the deanery related to education and supervision and not to care quality."

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