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Proposed Merger between Bedford Hospital and Luton and Dunstable University Hospital


The Trust Boards of Bedford Hospital and Luton and Dunstable University Hospital (L&D) have agreed to explore plans to merge and form one NHS Trust, with effect from April 2018.

Under the single NHS Trust, both hospitals will retain their identity and individual hospital names. A&E, maternity and paediatrics services will remain on both sites, with clinical services from both hospitals working as single teams across the whole Bedfordshire catchment area. This will bring many benefits for patients including much improved continuity of care.

Supporting the work programme of the Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STP) over the last 18 months, a merger would provide new and exciting opportunities for collaboration, and would be the driver to improve health and care services for all our patients across the whole of Bedfordshire.

Following the recent announcement of the proposed merger between Bedford Hospital and L&D Hospital, a summary of the Strategic Outline Case (SOC) has now been published and can be accessed here: Public Summary_SOC for anyone wanting to read further on this proposal.

Proposed merger with L&D Hospital update

Following the announcement in September 2017 of a proposal to merge Bedford Hospital and Luton & Dunstable Hospital, work has continued at pace to realise that ambition. Engagement to date with staff, public and stakeholders has acknowledged the proposal is the best strategic idea for both hospitals, has strong clinical and political support and will be beneficial to local residents. However, from the start it was recognised that the timeline to deliver the merger was ambitious. On 23 February the Chief Executives of Bedford and L&D Hospital advised that the proposed merger date of 1 April was not able to happen due to ongoing discussions with NHS Improvement around financial arrangements.

Stakeholder newsletter and other published information

January 2018: A public summary of the Full Business Case (FBC) for the proposed merger can be accessed here.
To view the Full Business Case (FBC) Executive Summary please click here.

Please click here to view our January 2018 update.

Please click here to view our February 2018 update

September 2017: A summary of the Strategic Outline Case (SOC) for the proposed merger can be accessed here: Public Summary SOC.


Becoming a Foundation Trust Member

As plans progress to merge Bedford Hospital with the L&D, we are looking to expand the Foundation Trust membership to include people from across the whole of Bedfordshire and surrounding counties. We want to ensure membership represents the populations both hospitals serve. Therefore we are encouraging all local residents to sign up to become a member to have their say in how their local hospital is run.

The recruitment of Foundation Trust members is also to ensure that we have the right representation across Bedfordshire in preparation for Governor Elections that will take place once the integrated Trust is formed. Foundation Trust membership is free and does bring with it some benefits, including a chance to shape services, access to very popular medical lectures and the option to stand as a Governor, so we would encourage you to sign up.

As the L&D Hospital is already a Foundation Trust and Bedford Hospital is currently not, initially people will be signed up to the L&D membership. However at the point of merger, membership will be automatically transferred across to the new integrated Trust.

For more information on becoming a FT member please click here. To sign up, please click here. 

You can also download the FT membership leaflet here: FT Membership Leaflets  You can complete the form to sign up as a member then send back to the Freepost address on the leaflet.

The opportunities the merger presents are considerable and we will endeavor to keep you updated about progress on a regular basis. However, if you have any additional queries or would like to discuss anything in person, please feel free to contact us via merger@ldh.nhs.uk

CQC Registration

As part of our merger preparations we must formally apply to the CQC to deregister services provided on the Bedford site as an NHS trust can only hold one CQC registration; and all services across the two sites post-merger will be registered under the new organisation. This is a formality and will not affect patient care or delivery of services at Bedford.

New Name for the integrated Trust

Although both hospital sites will retain their individual names, the integrated NHS Foundation Trust will have a new name. Both Trust Boards have discussed this and given that this integrated Trust will enhance services for the whole Bedfordshire population, we are considering the suggestion of Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.  We envisage that, as in the case of Addenbrooke’s which is officially called Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Bedford Hospital and the L&D will continue to be known by these names to their local communities. We want to know what you think of this – do you like it? Have you any other suggestions?  Please share your views via this online survey. All suggestions are nationally required to be based on the local geographical patch.

Public Information Events

Many thanks to all that attended one of the Public Information Events held in November. For those who were unable to make these events, you can find the presentation slides used at each event here for your reference: Public events_Nov17_CBeds2

You can also access some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the proposed merger here: FAQs for the Public