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Childrens (Paediatrics)

Paediatrics is the medical specialty dealing with the development and care of children and with the diagnosis and treatment of childhood diseases.

Bedford Hospital

The paediatric department deals with acute and emergency conditions in children and newborn babies and is made up of an outpatients department, two wards and an ambulatory care service.

The department treats every child and baby as an individual, with unique physical, psychological, spiritual and educational needs. It also recognises the importance of family involvement and support, and aims to provide support for families to return home with confidence and knowledge which enables them to continue care in the child’s natural environment.

Riverbank ward (children’s ward)

Riverbank ward has 16 beds/cots and cares for children and teenagers from 0 – 16 years. There are two high dependency beds for sicker children and a dedicated children’s day surgical service. There is also a pleasant play area and open air garden for the children which are both supervised by the play leaders. For more information about Riverbank ward please click here.

The Ambulatory Care Service led by a consultant and a nurse practitioner provides a service for day assessments and day investigations, urgent GP referrals, children with open access and ward attendees and is based on Riverbank ward.

Meadowbank Ward

Meadowbank ward is a modern special care baby unit.

Children’s Out-patient Department

The children’s outpatient department is based in Cygnet Wing opposite adjacent to the entrance. The department runs routine outpatient clinics including specialty clinics in cardiology, respiratory medicine, oncology, diabetes, rheumatology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics and dermatology.

Children’s Blood Tests

Children under sixteen need to attend the children and teenager’s outpatient unit in Cygnet Wing, at Bedford Hospital (South Wing).  All children’s blood tests are by appointment only.

From Monday 18 October 2021, additional appointment systems have been introduced. There will be a number of ways to book an appointment including:

  • Using the online booking service (available 24/7). Patients will need to register online using the child’s details:
  • The automated telephone booking service using the child’s details (available 24/7). The telephone number is: 01234 868006

When booking the appointment, please register with your child’s details.

You can speak to our Paediatric team Monday to Friday during limited opening hours (9am – 12pm and 2pm – 4pm) on 01234 730421, if your child has additional needs, or those with special requests such as fasting, genetics and hormone tests. Also, please call this number if you are unable to book an urgent appointment within a week’s time. Please endeavour to call this number only for the criteria listed as the line can get very busy. If possible, appointments should be booked online or via the automated booking system.

Please read the following information carefully about your child’s blood test:

  • A blood test form is required on each visit.
  • Please arrive on time.
  • Check the personal ID on the form is correct before arriving for the test.
  • Please ensure your child is well hydrated.
  • If you would like your child to have skin numbing cream prior to the blood test, please follow these guidelines: the cream should be put on one hour before the appointment, in the crease of each elbow and on the back of each hand. Wrap in cling film. Put a blob of the cream on the skin – do not rub it in. Cream can be purchased over the pharmacy counter, or if the blood test is requested by your GP, they will be able to write a prescription for you.
  • Results for standard tests usually take 1 to 5 working days.
  • Children need to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
  • Arriving late: patients arriving more than 10 minutes after their booked appointment will have to rebook.
  • Fasting blood tests: please have nothing to to eat or drink except glasses of water 12 hours before the time of your appointment.
  • Bruising may sometimes occur post-procedure.
Luton and Dunstable University Hospital

The Luton and Dunstable University Hospital provide a full range of Acute Paediatric Services with dedicated facilities in a child and parent-friendly environment.

About our Service

Most children are seen within the Children’s Outpatient Department where the staff and surroundings are designed for the comfort and fun of children – and their siblings.

We have General Paediatric Consultants, each of whom have special areas of interest. They are complemented by Locum Consultants, which ensures there is hands-on Consultant cover 24 hours a day, every day.

Children admitted for Surgery

Parents of children who come into our Paediatric wards for surgery can rest assured that in addition to having the skills of a specialist surgeon, they will be constantly under the care of the dedicated Paediatric team.

Specialist Clinics

The Department has a wide range of Paediatric professional skills and runs regular specialist clinics including:

  • Asthma
  • Cardiology
  • Cystic Fibrosis and Respiratory
  • Dermatology
  • Diabetes
  • Endocrinology
  • ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat)
  • Epilepsy
  • Follow-up for Prematurely low birth-weight babies
  • Gastroenterology
  • General Paediatrics
  • Haematology
  • HIV
  • Metabolic
  • Neurology
  • Oncology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Paediatric General Surgery
  • Prolonged Jaundice
  • Renal
  • Tuberculosis

In-patient Facilities

Our Paediatric Unit has 54 beds, including a 5-bed Paediatric Assessment Unit for children up to the age of 16 years. The comfortable, child-friendly environment with dedicated Nursery Nurses and specialist staff has a superbly-equipped playroom. There is also a schoolroom with a full-time teacher to ensure that our young patients have the opportunity to continue education whilst in hospital.

Supporting services include a Paediatric Physiotherapy team which has access to a start-of-the-art Children’s gymnasium.

Referrals should be made via your GP

Changing Places toilets

Changing Places toilets are larger accessible toilets for severely disabled people, with equipment such as hoists, curtains, adult-sized changing benches and space for carers. If you and your child need access to this space, it is located in Zone B/C and called the ‘Transport Room’. It is unlocked during the day, and if you require access outside of normal hours, a nurse will have a key to access.

Contact Us

Via switchboard 01582 491166

Paediatric Physiotherapy

The Paediatric (Children’s) Physiotherapy team are a group of specialist physiotherapists providing assessment and treatment to children and young people aged 0-19 years. There is an inpatient team, an outpatient team and a community team who cover the Luton and Central Bedfordshire areas.

For more information our Paediatric Physiotherapy service visit this page.

Luton’s Local Offer – Luton’s new Local Offer website has been created as an online, one-stop-shop where parents, children, young people and professionals can find out about the education, health and social care support services, voluntary organisations, charities and groups that are available to help children and young people with SEND and to support families.

Patients Know Best (PKB) Pilot Project

The L&D are currently in the process of piloting a  new  platform called Patients Know Best (PKB), for children and young people with epilepsy (or their parents or carers), who are registered with a Luton GP.

PKB is a simple online platform which you can access anywhere and anytime using your smartphone or computer, providing one central place where you can:

  • Record information about the child or young person’s seizures, when they occur, how long they last, etc.
  • Securely upload seizure videos for clinicians to see
  • Input medical history and ‘All About Me’ info
  • Direct message the epilepsy team for advice
  • Store useful resources like fact sheets

Further information or to get involved, please visit Cambridgeshire Community Service website.