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Visitors at our hospitals

Restrictions at Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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 now allowed to visit for up to 6hrs per day. The following principles apply:

  • Two visitors are welcomed between 2pm and 8pm daily
  • There is no need to pre-book a time slot or restrictions on the length of time that visitors can stay within the 6hrs period
  • The nurse in charge will have the right to reduce this to one visitor at a time when required to avoid overcrowding
  • Children under 16 years old will not be able to accompany an adult visiting on the adult wards
  • Visitors who are COVID-19 positive or who have a positive household contact will not be allowed
  • Facemasks will need to be worn at all times for the duration of your visit on the ward and when inside any other ‘Facemask Wearing Zones’ in the hospital
  • Our ward staff will support all visitors by providing instructions on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

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 postnatal wards across both our maternity units (Bedford and the Luton and Dunstable Hospitals) as now as follows:

  • 9am to 9pm – birth partner or other adult support person only
  • 3pm to 8pm – two adult visitors per woman/birthing person (this includes the birth partner and one other – both need to stay the same) as well as siblings

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

Siblings are now welcome back in maternity, between 3pm and 8pm daily.

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

Paediatrics

Two named parents/carers per child or young person can attend the unit at any time. The nurse/reception staff will need to be made aware of who these two people are.

The same two people must visit throughout the duration of the child or young person’s stay.

One parent may stay on the ward overnight after 8pm.

No siblings are able to visit during this time.

Neonatal

Siblings and extended family members are welcomed back to our neonatal wards to visit. The following principles apply:

  • Only two visitors per baby at their cot at a time. One visitor has to be the parent/guardian but the other can now be a sibling or family member
  • Visiting hours are between 12pm and 8pm daily
  • Two parents/guardians can still stay overnight with their baby/babies
  • Visitors who are COVID-19 positive or who have a positive household contact will not be allowed to visit
  • Facemasks will need to be worn at all times for the duration of your visit on the ward and when inside any other ‘Facemask Wearing Zones’ in the hospital
  • Our ward staff will support all visitors by providing instructions on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

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.