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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.
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 Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care System (BLMK ICS) 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.

On 5 August 2019, it was confirmed by the Department of Health and Social Care that £99.5m of capital funding has been approved which is fantastic news for our patients. This means the delivery of a new 5 storey acute services block at Luton & Dunstable University Hospital (L&D) to enable urgent replacement of some of the site’s most out-dated estate can now progress. This will make a real difference to patient and staff experience by delivering new facilities for critical care, maternity services, the level 3 neo-natal intensive care unit (NICU) and operating theatres.

Importantly, we now have the funding in place to realise the benefits of the planned merger with the L&D and are able to plan for long-term investment on both sites, including implementation of our Three Year Plan.

We will update all stakeholders with news as our plans develop over the coming months.

Stakeholder newsletter

Please click here to view our December 2019 update

Please click here to view our October 2019 update

Please click here to view our June 2018 update

Please click here to view our April 2018 update

Please click here to view our February 2018 update

Please click here to view our January 2018 update.

Please click here to view our December 2017 update

Please click here to view our November 2017 update

Please click here to view our October 2017 update


Other publications

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

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

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


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.


New Name for the integrated Trust

Both hospital sites will retain their individual identity and the integrated NHS Foundation Trust will have a new name. We envisage that, as in the case of Addenbrooke’s which is officially called Cambridge University Hospitals NHS FT, Bedford Hospital and the L&D will continue to be known by these names to their local communities.

Following engagement with staff, public and stakeholders, the new name of Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was unanimously supported by both Trust Boards in February 2018. Please click here to view the summary of feedback.

Public Information Events

We held Public Briefing Sessions about the merger on:

  • 16 December, Lecture Theatre, Bedford Hospital MK42 9DJ – 5.30pm to 7pm
  • 17 December, COMET Lecture Hall, L&D Hospital LU4 ODZ – 2.30pm to 4pm
  • 20 December, Lockyer Suite, Rufus Centre, Flitwick MK45 1AH – 9am to 10.30am

Please feel free to access the slides used at these sessions here: Public Briefings_Dec2019

Attendees were also handed a Public Guide to the Merger at the above events. If you were unable to attend this can be posted out to you. Please contact us on the details below with your address and will be happy to post a copy out to you.

The opportunities the merger presents are considerable and we will endeavour to keep you updated about progress on a regular basis. For further information on the merger please don’t hesitate to contact communications@bedfordhospital.nhs.uk or communications@ldh.nhs.uk or call 01234 792687.