Relaxation of restrictions at Bedfordshire Hospitals

Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has further relaxed restrictions at Bedford Hospital and Luton and Dunstable University Hospital.

We have to be extremely careful about our restrictions, especially when there are higher incidences of COVID-19 cases locally. As such, it is important to note that this 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 clinical areas
  • 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).

One partner can accompany a pregnant women/person for the entirety of their antenatal appointments.

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 and one other – both need to stay the same)
  • 7pm to 8.30pm – two visitors per woman/birthing person (this includes the birth partner and one other – both need to stay the same)

We are unable to facilitate children visiting or 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.

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