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Coronavirus (COVID19) information for the public

Coronavirus symptoms

If you have either a high temperature, a new dry continuous cough, a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of smell or taste (anosmia), or if anyone you live with is displaying these symptoms.

Please stay indoors and avoid contact with others. Use the online NHS 111. Call NHS 111 if you need to speak to someone.

You can find more guidance on Coronavirus at www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

If you have suspected Coronavirus, a leaflet has been created by NHS England and NHS Improvement with important information to keep you safe while isolating at home.

Attending our hospitals

Due to the high numbers of attendances in our Emergency Department, it is likely that you may have to queue outside at the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital (L&D). Please ensure you are in suitable clothing for the weather conditions where possible. We thank you for your understanding.

In order to help reduce the spread of infection across our hospital sites (Bedford Hospital and the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital) and to protect our staff and patients, we still need you to do the following:

  • Wear a face mask / covering when entering any of our hospital sites
  • Observe social distancing measures in place
  • Wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds when entering clinical areas (for e.g. wards) or make use of hand sanitisers that are located throughout the hospitals. You should also do the same when leaving, and follow all other guidance given by our staff
  • Attend our hospitals alone wherever possible – exclusions apply to our paediatric patients and those requiring carer support (patients with disabilities, translation / interpreting needs etc.)

Visiting

Information about changes to visiting at Bedfordshire Hospitals is available here.

Your hospital appointment

Although some outpatient appointments are being completed virtually or by phone, there are times when we do need to see you in person and it is important that you attend unless we’ve told you otherwise.

We know this is a very anxious  time for our patients coming into hospital but please be assured we are doing all we can to keep everyone on both our hospital sites safe. This includes:

  • Extra measures  in place to support social distancing
  • Hand sanitisers are at all entrances and exits
  • Staff are also wearing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

We ask you to kindly attend your outpatient appointment alone to help us reduce the footfall at both hospitals, preventing further spread of the virus. This of course does not apply to our paediatric patients (one adult parent/guardian to attend with patient) or for some of our adult patients who may require a certain level of carer support.

We are asking that outpatients , and those accompanying them, to take a rapid-result lateral flow test (and had a negative result) no more than 72 hours in advance of their appointments at one of several rapid test centres across Bedfordshire.

Lateral Flow Test (LFT) prior to visiting

We ask all patients and visitors to have a LFT prior to attending for an appointment, accompanying a pregnant woman/person for a maternity appointment or visiting a loved one (no more than 3 days or 72 hours before).

These tests are for people who do not have COVID symptoms.

You can find out where to attend for a rapid lateral flow test using the government website by entering your postcode here: https://maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk/

Alternatively, you can order a test online here: https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests or if you cannot order online, call 119.  Lines are open 7am to 11pm and calls are free.

If your swab is positive, please stay home and contact us to confirm you want to cancel your appointment or visit.

Where are the Lateral Flow Testing centres?

Bedford Borough

Faraday Community Centre, Bedford, MK42 9ND

Testing is available from 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. Free parking available on-site.

Central Bedfordshire

We have test centres in Dunstable and Flitwick where you can book a supervised rapid test. Book here https://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/info/135/coronavirus/919/rapid_tests

Luton

There are a number of mobile testing locations across Luton open at a variety of times. To find the current locations and dates, please visit https://m.luton.gov.uk/Page/Show/Health_and_social_care/coronavirus/Pages/Coronavirus-testing.aspx

COVID-19 Vaccination

People aged 18 and over (or turning 18 within 3 months) can get a 1st and 2nd dose of a vaccine.

Most children and young people aged 12 to 17 are currently only being offered a 1st dose.

If you haven’t already, book your appointment now: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/

Bedford Hospital

Advice to patients and visitors

Our advice to patients and visitors may change on a daily basis so for regular updates please check our website, and our social media accounts on Facebook @BedfordHospital and Twitter @bedfordhospital.

Information about visiting

More information about visiting guidance can be found here.

We appreciate that if you usually look after your relative/friend this can be a very stressful and upsetting time. For emotional and practical support you can contact our partner agency, Carers in Bedfordshire.

At this busy time, we need to minimise the ward phone calls so we ask that friends and family keep in touch with patients, using their own mobile phones where this is possible.

We are asking that patients inform the staff which person they wish us to liaise with and this is often the next of kin.

Where there is a need to call the wards we ask they do so after 1pm and before 4pm each day.

Patient property

If you have items you wish to be delivered we ask that you arrange your family/carers to bring this to the PALs office, in the main corridor, at the Bedford Hospital Site. This must be weekdays between 1pm and 4pm only. With regret items cannot be accepted outside of those hours.

Thank you for your support and understanding during these challenging times.

Ward name Telephone number
AAU 01234 795819
Arnold Whitchurch 01234 792268
Coronary Care Unit 01234 792212
Elizabeth Ward 01234 792248
Godber Ward 01234 792210
Harpur Ward 01234 792224
Howard Ward 01234 795753
Critical Care Complex 01234 792257
Pilgrim Ward 01234 792241
Reginald Hart Ward 01234 792216
Richard Wells Ward 01234 792245
Russell Ward 01234 795940
Shuttleworth Ward 01234 792273
Shand Ward 01234 792231
Tavistock Ward 01234 792270
Whitbread Ward 01234 795867

We appreciate that if you usually look after your relative/friend this can be a very stressful and upsetting time. For emotional and practical support you can contact our partner agency, Carers in Bedfordshire.

Attending hospital

We are pleading to the public to follow national guidance and please stay at home, if you have:

  • a high temperature
  • a new continuous cough
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of smell or taste (anosmia)

Please do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or into the hospital. You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home. However, please use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after 7 days

Only call NHS 111 if you cannot get help online. Full Public Health advice including how to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus can be found on the NHS website here.

Luton and Dunstable University Hospital

Advice to patients and visitors

Our advice to patients and visitors may change on a daily basis so for regular updates please check our website, and our social media accounts on Facebook @LandDHospital and Twitter @LandDHospital.

Information about visiting

More information about visiting guidance can be found here.

We appreciate that if you usually look after your relative/friend this can be a very stressful and upsetting time. For emotional and practical support you can contact our partner agency, Carers in Bedfordshire.

Patient property

If you are coming into hospital we advise you not to bring a large number of items in with you, as there is limited storage and it is your responsibility to look after your belongings. Only essential items should be brought in. Please do not bring in any valuables including money, bank cards and jewellery.

If you have items you wish to be delivered to a patient, please bring these to the Main reception desk at the main entrance, at the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital Site.

We can only accept belongings during the following hours:

  • Monday to Friday, 11am – 6.30pm
  • Saturday and Sunday, 11am – 2pm

We will need to ask you to return to drop off these items should you come outside of these times

Hot food cannot be accepted for considerations of food hygiene and health and safety requirements.

We will ask you to complete a disclaimer form and label before you leave, this would be appreciated. Please do not bring in valuable items unless essential

Where possible, please provide one small bag or holdall that has a zip or is secured so contents are contained safely.

Please do not take belongs directly to the ward.