Author: Local Democracy Reporter David Tooley

COVID contact tracing in Bedford put back in the hands of NHS Test and Trace as public health chiefs hope to persuade unvaccinated

Contact tracing has been switched off in Bedford as public health chiefs turn their efforts to persuading the unvaccinated to get jabbed.

A meeting was told that although case rates are falling in the borough they are still high and calling the unvaccinated is now a better use of resources.

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Bedfordshire police and crime panel: Changing policing messages on violence against women and girls

Bedfordshire’s newly elected policing chief is planning to put the spotlight on violence against women and girls.

Police and crime commissioner (PCC) Festus Akinbusoye’s policing plan is going through the final stages of dotting ‘i’s and crossing ‘t’s before it is published in the middle of August.

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Police commissioner’s office defends “woke” plan as committee complains it’s being “rushed” to give opinions

Bedfordshire’s new police and crime commissioner is in a hurry to publish his plan for the next three years and it is putting strain on a watchdog committee to respond in time.

Festus Akinbusoye made a promise during his successful election campaign in May that his police and crime plan would be up and running in 100 days, prompting members to complain that they are being rushed.

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Boozy residents and heavy goods driver shortages put Bedford Borough recycling collections under pressure

A combination of lorry driver shortages, vastly increased alcohol consumption and closed charity shops are putting council waste collection services under growing pressure.
Councillors were told that Bedford Council’s recycling services have seen so much increased demand that frontline workers are struggling to keep up.

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COVID-19: It’s “impossible to plan in detail” for the return to school in September

There is a real prospect that the new school year will look very much like the one just about to end, with masks and COVID-19 precautions still in place, a meeting heard.
Leading Bedford councillors say that with so-called freedom day looming on Monday (19 July 2021) is it “difficult to predict” what is going to happen with the COVID-19 infection and “impossible to plan in detail.”

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Fears for isolated new mums as health visiting service struggles amid steep rise in numbers of vulnerable young children

There’s been such a massive increase in the number of vulnerable babies and children receiving health visitor support that the rest of the service has been buckling under the strain, a meeting heard.
Councillors at a meeting of Bedford Council’s health overview and scrutiny committee were told that over the course of the pandemic the Healthy Child Programme has seen an EXTRA 334 children needing complex support – including 189 under fives.

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Cancer services rejig – including relocation of Mount Vernon specialist centre to Watford – aims to improve Bedfordshire patients’ chances of survival

Multi-million pound plans are being drawn up by NHS leaders to improve cancer services across Bedfordshire and beyond.

Although the £230million price tag for moving Mount Vernon Cancer Centre to Watford Hospital has yet to be agreed, health service leaders told a meeting that it offers the opportunity to reorganise services more widely.

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‘Try not to hug too many people at the football’ to stop COVID coming home

Public health chiefs in Bedford believe they will struggle to get COVID safety messages across to the public in advance of the football final.

A meeting on Thursday (8 July 2021) heard that so far the defensive wall offered by vaccination is preventing an upsurge in deaths and people needing hospital treatment.

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