Author: Local Democracy Reporter David Tooley

No plan for intensive mental health ward for women in £60m scheme to replace Weller Wing

Women with intensive mental health needs may still have to travel into London for treatment under a £60million plan to return inpatient mental health services to Bedford.

A meeting heard that there are so few women requiring intensive mental health services compared to men that it is “not financially viable” to create a ward for them at a newly planned “once in a generation” unit at Bedford’s Health Village.

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Bedford Borough Council interim chief executive steps down due to ill health after one month in the job

Bedford Council’s chief executive has stepped down due to ill health after little over a month in the post.

Terry Collins was only appointed to the £185,000 a year role in April but by 13 May Bedford Borough Council had begun the process of advertising for the job.

A Borough Council spokesperson confirmed: “Sadly due to illness Terry Collins has had to stand down as interim Chief Executive of Bedford Borough Council.

“We wish Terry a speedy recovery and thank him for his time at Bedford Borough Council.”

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90 per cent of residents in Bedford’s COVID variant hot-spot wards yet to be tested

Only 10 per cent of residents in Bedford’s Indian variant hotspot wards have come forward for tests, a meeting heard yesterday (27 May 2021).

Health chiefs are stepping up efforts to hunt down hidden cases of COVID – where people are carrying the virus without having a clue that it is lurking in them.

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BLMK CCG: Jab ‘flexibility’ allowing more younger people to get vaccine amid variant protection push

More people in younger age groups are being allowed to get their covid jab across the Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) area as health leaders push to get more people protected against the Indian variant.

An NHS chief stressed at a meeting yesterday (25 May 2021) that they are sticking by the covid jabbing rules, but have been allowed some “flexibility” in classifying people as carers or when they live in “multi-generational households.”

Geraint Davies, the BLMK’s director of performance and governance, said that vaccinations could now be given to people aged 32 and above.

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Patient abuse of staff ‘a real and imminent threat to GP services’ claims doctor

A GP has told a high powered NHS meeting that a rising level of abuse to staff is the biggest threat to local doctors’ services.

Dr Linus Onah was one of a series of GPs to tell a meeting of NHS commissioners in the Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) area of rising pressure on front line services.

Dr Onah, a GP in Biggleswade, said: “The single biggest threat to our 14,000 patient practice is not being able to recruit non clinician staff because of patient abuse on the phone.

“In the last few weeks we have lost two reception and administration staff because they just couldn’t take the amount of abuse coming down the telephone line.”

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