Important changes announced to visiting arrangements at Bedfordshire Hospitals

Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust can confirm from 4 April 2022, visiting restrictions in our adult inpatient wards and maternity services will be relaxed further.

The Trust recognises and values the contribution that visiting provides to our patients’ wellbeing and recovery but also has to ensure that any changes implemented are done so in the safest way possible.

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.

General 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.

Maternity Services

Two birthing partners per woman/birthing person now allowed 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) will also change from 4 April 2022.

Visiting slots will now be 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.

Maternity FAQs for added clarification

Will I/my partner still need to wear a facemask at all times?

All visitors need to continue to wear facemasks at all times while inside Trust premises. However we do not expect birthing women/people to wear facemasks in labour or when in their own bed space.

Will my partner need a lateral flow test to visit me in hospital or to attend appointments with me?

No your partner, will not require a lateral flow test or proof of a test to visit you in hospital or to attend appointments with you

Will I be tested when I attend the hospital?

You will be offered a lateral flow test when you attend the hospital for an inpatient review or stay. You will not require lateral flow testing to attend outpatient appointments in the hospital or community

Can I bring my children to appointments?

No not currently.

Can other visitors come to see me now on the ward area?

Your two visitors (i.e. your birthing partner and one other visitor) should be the same and not swapped around during your stay.

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