A study of attendances at the accident and emergency department at Bedford Hospital

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Summary of report content

The Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department at Bedford Hospital is located at the Ampthill Road entrance to the South Wing site. It is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and provides a service for patients who are brought in by ambulance, or who have self-referred. The Department serves a catchment area with a population of 271,000 people from North and Central Bedfordshire. Bedford Hospital and Luton and Dunstable University Hospital have decided to formally collaborate through a proposed merger. This will bring the two hospitals together to manage specialties as a single set of services, but delivered at both hospital sites. The importance of A&E is acknowledged, because as part of the planned merger A&E together with Paediatric and Maternity Services will be retained at both sites. Healthwatch Bedford Borough (HBB) is obviously aware of the wider implications of the work associated with the ongoing development of the Accountable Care System (BLMK STP). The development of local health provision e.g. GP extended hours, improved patient records, etc. will do much to improve the patient journey. However, the report which follows, has estimated that around 42% of people presenting at A&E could have been dealt with elsewhere in the wider healthcare system. Healthwatch Bedford Borough hopes that by certain of its recommendations, contained at the end this report, both debate and action will be stimulated to reduce that figure from 42%.

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General details

Report title 
A study of attendances at the accident and emergency department at Bedford Hospital
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Bedford Borough
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 1 November, 2017
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 1 November, 2017
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 1 November, 2017
Type of report 
Key themes 
Building and facilities
Information providing
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
GP practice
Secondary care services 
Accident & emergency

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
What type of impact was determined? 
Implied Impact

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.