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Visitors at our hospitals

Restrictions at Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Although on the 19 July 2021 regulations around the use of face masks / coverings and social distancing will change across the country, at Bedfordshire Hospitals most regulations currently in place will remain the same. The Trust has decided it is currently not safe to lift all restrictions at our hospitals.

Attending our hospitals

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.)

No changes to restrictions in our Emergency Departments

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.

On average, 25 COVID positive patients attend our Emergency Departments (EDs) each day. All during a time when we are seeing record demand for emergency care, especially for this time of year.

As such, we are unable to relax any restrictions within these areas to limit the spread of the virus and maintain the health and safety of our staff and patients.

Visitors to the Emergency Departments will only be permitted under the following circumstances:

  • To spend time with a patient who is in the final moments of their life
  • To accompany a vulnerable patient with a mental health issue, dementia, a learning disability or autism
  • To assist with patients’ communication or provide interpretation
  • Only one parent or carer may accompany a child or young person.

Adult inpatient wards

As of Monday 8 November 2021, Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will be continuing to allow visiting to Adult Inpatient wards at both hospital sites, however there will be an increase in restrictions.

To ensure patients and staff are protected, and to minimise the spread, the Trust kindly asks for the following principles to be followed:

  • Visiting will be for one hour, every other day between 2pm and 6pm.
    One close family contact, or somebody important to the patient, may visit. This person will be the only one permitted to attend for each visit.
  • All visitors must produce a negative lateral flow result, via the NHS App*. If a visitor does not show this, they will not be permitted on the ward.
  • Visitors will be required to wear the appropriate PPE. This includes a surgical mask and not a face covering.
  • If the visitor has tested positive, or comes into close contact with someone who has (including a household contact), unfortunately they will not be able to visit, unless it is exceptional circumstances.
  • Children will not be able to accompany a visitor on adult wards

Before visiting, the visitor should contact the relevant ward to book a time and discuss appropriate arrangements.

Contact details for wards and departments are available here. Please be patient when calling the ward staff – they will do their very best to help you.

However, in exceptional circumstances, as listed below, visiting may vary and can be discussed with the ward manager.

  • If the patient is receiving end of life care
  • If the patient has dementia, learning disabilities or a mental health illness and need a carer/support present

*If you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days, you will not be required to present this, but will need proof of a previous positive test on the NHS App and must be asymptomatic at the time of visiting.

Please do not visit our hospitals if you are:

  • Unwell; especially if you have a high temperature or a new, persistent cough
  • Self-isolating as a result of COVID exposure or potential exposure

Special visiting arrangements will remain for patients in maternity, NICU, Children’s departments and for those receiving end of life care.

Maternity

One visitor a day is allowed to stay for two hours on our postnatal wards across both hospital maternity units. Other restrictions at both units will remain.

One partner can currently:

  • Accompany pregnant women/people at all scans and antenatal appointments
  • Stay with a pregnant woman/person during all times whilst on the Delivery Suite not just in established labour

It is important to note that these restrictions could change at short notice if it becomes unsafe to continue.

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.

Bedford Hospital

Information about visiting

Information about visiting at the Bedford Hospital site is available above. 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. If you consider your situation meets the exceptions, please contact the staff in the clinical area in which the patient is being cared for and they will advise if visiting may be permitted.

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.

Luton and Dunstable University Hospital

Information about visiting

Information about visiting at the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital site is available above. 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. If you consider your situation meets the exceptions, please contact the staff in the clinical area in which the patient is being cared for and they will advise if visiting may be permitted.

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 to inform the staff which person they wish us to liaise with and this if 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 Main Reception, in the main corridor, at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital Site.

This must be 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.