Bedford Hospital

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Bedford Hospital
Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Bedford Hospital's Britannia Road entrance
Bedford Hospital is located in Bedfordshire
Bedford Hospital
Location in Bedfordshire
LocationBedford, Bedfordshire, England, United Kingdom
Coordinates52°07′44″N 0°28′18″W / 52.128857°N 0.471743°W / 52.128857; -0.471743Coordinates: 52°07′44″N 0°28′18″W / 52.128857°N 0.471743°W / 52.128857; -0.471743
Care systemPublic NHS
FundingPublic hospital
Emergency departmentYes Accident & Emergency
ListsHospitals in England

Bedford Hospital is a 400-bed district general hospital located in the English town of Bedford, serving the Borough of Bedford and parts of Central Bedfordshire, run by the Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.


Accident & Emergency at the South Wing
Gilbert Hitchcock House at the Bedford Health Village
The new pathology building

The hospital was founded by Samuel Whitbread, the brewer, who had left £8,000 in his will for the purpose of establishing a hospital.[1] The planning committee for the hospital, which included the Duke of Bedford, Lord John Russell and the brewer’s son, also Samuel Whitbread made swift progress and the hospital opened in 1803.[1]

Major recent developments have included the Cygnet Wing, which provides paediatric, maternity and gynaecology and which was opened by the Queen in 1996.[2]

In 2001, it was reported in the local press that bodies were being stored on the floor of the chapel of rest, while part of the hospital's mortuary was undergoing maintenance. An internal inquiry found, that although the bodies were tampered with before the photographs were taken, the hospital's management was at fault, and the chief executive subsequently resigned.[3]

The Primrose Centre for cancer patients was completed in 2003, the redevelopment of the pathology services unit was completed in 2006, a surgical assessment unit was completed in 2012 and an endoscopy unit was completed in 2015.[4]

The Weller Wing, in which East London NHS Foundation Trust had provided psychiatric services, closed early in 2017.[5]

In September 2017 plans were announced to merge the Bedford Hospital NHS Trust with Luton and Dunstable University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.[6]


The hospital operates from a series of sites:

  • Main site (South Wing): Bedford Hospital is mainly situated on Britannia Road/Ampthill Road in the Cauldwell area of Bedford. This site (still popularly known as South Wing) is home to the Accident and Emergency department, theatres, pathology, inpatient wards, x-ray department, oncology services and the outpatients services. The main site houses BEDOC, NHS Bedfordshire CCG's GP out-of-hours emergency service.[7]
  • Bedford Health Village (North Wing): Some services are based at the Bedford Health Village, two miles north of the main site. This site (which used to be known as North Wing) includes the old Bedford workhouse building. Services here include occupational therapy, physiotherapy and rehabilitation facilities, as well as a chest clinic and a drop-in dental service.[8]


Four-hour target in the emergency department quarterly figures from NHS England Data from

In December 2013 it was announced that Monitor was reviewing of health services in Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes in an attempt to avert "significant problems ahead" in the local hospitals.[9]

Circle Health was awarded a prime provider contract for Bedfordshire's Musculoskeletal service in April 2014 by the Clinical Commissioning Group and it was intended that the Trust would be a subcontractor. In November the Trust announced that it had refused to sign the contract because it endangered the viability of its trauma and Accident and Emergency service as the number of referrals dropped by 30%.[10]

It was named by the Health Service Journal as one of the top hundred NHS trusts to work for in 2015. At that time it had 2211 full time equivalent staff and a sickness absence rate of 3.96%. 75% of staff recommend it as a place for treatment and 63% recommended it as a place to work.[11] It spent 7.2% of its total turnover on agency staff in 2014/5.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "HospitalRecordsPartOne". Bedford Borough Council. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  2. ^ "Sir Samuel Whitbread: 21 years as Bedfordshire's Lord Lieutenant". Bedford Today. 8 April 2012. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  3. ^ "Bodies scandal 'was a set-up'". BBC News. 9 August 2001. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  4. ^ "About us". Bedford Hospital. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  5. ^ "Weller Wing closure at Bedford Hospital". Mind BLMK. Archived from the original on 25 July 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  6. ^ "Hospital seeks 'joyful' merger with teaching trust". Health Service Journal. 12 September 2017. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  7. ^ "Map of Bedford Hospital (South Wing)" (PDF). Bedford Hospital. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  8. ^ "Millions to redevelop Bedford healthcare hub". BBC. 28 March 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  9. ^ "Monitor to review services in Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes". Health Service Journal. 2 December 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  10. ^ "Bedford refuses to sign Circle MSK contract". Health Service Journal. 7 November 2014. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
  11. ^ "HSJ reveals the best places to work in 2015". Health Service Journal. 7 July 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  12. ^ "Agency spending: the real picture". Health Service Journal. 26 November 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2015.

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