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Visitors at our hospitals

Restrictions at Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have relaxed visiting restrictions in our adult inpatient wards and maternity services further.

We have to be extremely careful about our visiting restrictions, especially when there are higher incidences of COVID-19 cases locally. As such, it is important to note that this further relaxing of restrictions could change at short notice if it becomes unsafe to continue. We do still need to be mindful that coronavirus is still with us and there are precautions that we still need to adhere to, to not only protect patients but to also protect our staff, keep them well so they can continue to provide safe and essential quality patient care.

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 when entering any of our hospital sites’ clinical areas (for e.g wards, outpatient areas)
  • 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

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).

Visitors to the Emergency Departments are permitted, but may be asked to leave if the area becomes too busy, or if natural ventilation does not appear to be effectively moving air through the space.

Adult inpatient wards

Two visitors per patient now allowed. The following principles apply:

  • One visit for one hour each day by two close family contacts or people important to the patient is now allowed (visits each day from different people will not be permitted)
  • If the patient is COVID-19 positive they will not be able to have visitors except in special circumstances
  • Visitors who are COVID-19 positive or who have a positive household contact will not be allowed to visit
  • Visiting slots will still need to be pre-booked with the relevant ward
  • Facemasks will need to be worn at all times for the duration of your visit and when inside our hospitals
  • Our ward staff will support all visitors by providing instructions on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Children will not be able to accompany an adult visiting on the adult wards.

Exceptional circumstances, include the below. Please speak to the ward manager.

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

Maternity

Two birthing partners per woman/birthing person now welcomed on our delivery suites and Midwifery Led Birthing Units (MLBU).

Visiting restrictions on our triage, antenatal and postnatal wards across both our maternity units (Bedford and the Luton and Dunstable Hospitals) as now as follows:

  • 8am to 9.30pm – birth partners only
  • 3pm to 5.30pm – two visitors per woman/birthing person (this includes the birth partner)
  • 7pm to 8.30pm – two visitors per woman/birthing person (this includes the birth partner)

We are unable to facilitate visitors/supporters overnight at this time.

Full details on maternity guidance can be found in the Maternity section.

COVID-19 testing

PCR testing will be required for patients who:

  • Are planned for post-operative critical care admission
  • Formally identify as high risk
  • Are undergoing major procedures

A Lateral Flow Test (LFT) will be required for patients who:

  • Are attending for an elective procedure
  • Are attending our chemotherapy units
  • Are attending the St Mary’s day unit
  • Are attending the haematology day unit

Patients attending for outpatient appointments will no longer be required to carry out a COVID-19 test.

Visitors and those accompanying a patient to an appointment, will not be required to carry out a LFT unless the patient requires one (in the categories above). This will be advised prior to attending the hospital.

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.