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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/

Patient reminder #HandsFaceSpace

Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust would like to remind all patients attending Bedford Hospital and the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital to please remember to wear your facemask at all times whilst on either hospital site (excluding those who are medically exempt).

Let’s all work together to play our part in slowing down the spread of Coronavirus by following the national guidance of washing our Hands regularly, wearing our Facemasks and maintaining a 2m Space from others.

Visiting

We are regularly reviewing our visiting policy and are currently piloting pre-booked visiting appointments on some of our wards with the overall objective of allowing visitors to all relevant areas and wards across both hospital sites as soon as it is safe to do so. Please note that if there are significant changes to the local rates of infection, we may need to put full restrictions back in place at short notice for the safety of our patients and staff. More information can be found 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.

Where are the Lateral Flow Testing centres?

Bedford Borough

  • Faraday Community Centre
    Bedford, MK42 9ND

Testing will be available from 7am to 12pm, and from 1pm to 7pm, Monday to Friday. Free parking available on-site.

Central Bedfordshire

We have mobile test centres currently in Biggleswade, Leighton Buzzard, Houghton Regis and Flitwick but also visiting other parts of the area. To find your nearest centre please see our website https://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/info/135/coronavirus/919/rapid_tests

Luton

  • Lewsey Community Centre, Landrace Road, LU4 0SW
  • Farley Community Centre, Delphine Close, LU1 5RE
  • Luton Central Library, St George’s Square

All rapid testing centres in Luton are open 8am to 8pm, seven days a week.

Bedford Hospital

Information about visiting

At the Bedford Hospital Site, are currently piloting pre-booked visiting appointments on some of our wards with the overall objective of allowing visitors to all relevant areas and wards across both hospital sites as soon as it is safe to do so. If there are exceptional circumstances, for example in maternity or children’s departments, or for those patients who are in the last few days of their lives, visitors may be allowed on site on a case-by-case basis. There may be some other exceptions to this on compassionate grounds, which we will discuss with you on an individual basis.

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.

Please see telephone numbers at end of this guidance.

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 stay at home, especially if they 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.

Send in a picture or message

We understand that it is difficult not being able to visit. Wherever possible please use a tablet or phone to stay in contact with your loved one.

However, if you are unable to do this and would like to send a message or picture to someone at Bedford Hospital or Luton and Dunstable University Hospital, you can send an email to patientexperience@ldh.nhs.uk. Please include the ward, name and date of birth of the person you want to send the message to.

Although visiting is restricted you may be able to visit for compassionate reasons, which can be agreed with the ward manager. However if you have tested positive or been in contact with someone who is positive please do not ask to visit.

Response for donations of food or money

The Hospital also needs to adhere to the strict restrictions in place to minimise the footfall on the hospital site as much as possible. Therefore Bedford Hospitals Charity & Friends have kindly set up a fundraising campaign to collect all donations for Bedford Hospital staff.

The Charity are coordinating this on behalf of the Hospital and can be contacted on 01234 404248 / 07768-357030 and for any donations of money this can be done by clicking on this donation link.

It is also important to add that donations of cooked unpackaged foods without official ingredients and allergy information are unable to be accepted due to Health and Safety and Infection Control reasons.

Response for donations of homemade PPE

Many thanks for your kind offer of donation which is very much appreciated at this challenging time. Unfortunately we are unable to accept this as with all types of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) we have to use those supplied to use from the national NHS Supply Chain to ensure all Health and Safety and Infection Prevention and Control regulations have been met. I’m sure you’ll understand the need to take these measures. We can assure the local public that their local hospital does have appropriate levels of PPE for staff.

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

At the Luton and Dunstable Hospital Site, are currently piloting pre-booked visiting appointments on some of our wards with the overall objective of allowing visitors to all relevant areas and wards across both hospital sites as soon as it is safe to do so. If there are exceptional circumstances, for example in maternity or children’s departments, or for those patients who are in the last few days of their lives, visitors may be allowed on site on a case-by-case basis. There may be some other exceptions to this on compassionate grounds, which we will discuss with you on an individual basis.

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, 11.00 – 18.30
  • Saturday and Sunday, 11.00 – 14.00

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.

Information for patients with appointments

Many of our Outpatient clinics are telephone clinics and we will be sending letters, texting you or calling you to confirm these arrangements. A Clinician will call you on the same date your appointment was due and where possible, at the same time or as near to this time as possible.

Appointments are still being held face to face and if you do still need to attend in this way, please ensure you wear a mask.

Ophthalmology appointments

Ophthalmology appointments will be running face to face, we have put measures in place to maintain social distancing. If you receive an appointment letter for this service this will be face to face (unless otherwise specified), if you are unable to attend please contact the department to cancel your appointment. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms please do not attend your appointment and let us know.

Pregnant women with antenatal appointments

Pregnant women with planned antenatal appointments in Antenatal Clinic still need to attend their planned appointments in Antenatal Clinic. However, if you have a fever, high temperature, or persistent cough, or are currently self-isolating, please contact the Antenatal Clinic Midwives on: 01582 497017 prior to attending the hospital for your appointment.

PALS office

The PALS Offices on both hospital sites are closed to the public. Visitors and patients can still receive support from the team by contacting them by email or phone.
Please be aware that the teams are dealing with a lot of enquiries and they will return calls/emails as soon as possible.

pals@ldh.nhs.uk

01582 491166

Send in a picture or message

We understand that it is difficult not being able to visit. Wherever possible please use a tablet or phone to stay in contact with your loved one.

However, if you are unable to do this and would like to send a message or picture to someone at Bedford Hospital or Luton and Dunstable University Hospital, you can send an email to patientexperience@ldh.nhs.uk. Please include the ward, name and date of birth of the person you want to send the message to.

Although visiting is restricted you may be able to visit for compassionate reasons, which can be agreed with the ward manager. However if you have tested positive or been in contact with someone who is positive please do not ask to visit.