Although on the 19 July 2021 regulations around the use of face masks/coverings and social distancing changed across the country, at Bedfordshire Hospitals all COVID infection prevention control measures 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 everyone 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 (e.g. for 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
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
Visitors are now permitted in a controlled way to reduce the risk of crowding and maintaining social distancing at all times.
One close family contact or somebody important to the patient is allowed to visit patients on all adult inpatients wards across both Bedford Hospital and the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital (L&D).
Each patient will be allowed one visit for one hour, once a day.
Multiple single visits each day from different people will not be permitted and children are still unable to accompany adults visiting on our adult inpatient wards.
Visiting Appointment Times
Visiting may be booked between 14:00 and 20:00.
Before visiting, you should contact the relevant ward to book a time and discuss appropriate arrangements. Contact details for wards and departments are available on our website.
Please be patient when calling our ward staff – they will do their very best to help you.
If you’re visiting a patient who has tested positive for COVID within the last 10 days, or who tested positive for COVID when they arrived in hospital, please note that the risks involved in your visit will be discussed with you by relevant ward staff and you will be required to wear appropriate PPE for the entirety of your visit.
Please speak to the nurse in charge on the ward if you would like to request a longer visit for exceptional reasons such as end of life care or to provide personal care and support to a vulnerable patient.
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.
From 19 July 2021, one visitor a day is now 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 an 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 by visiting: www.maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk
Alternatively, you can order a test online by visiting: www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests or if you cannot order online, call 119. Lines are open from 07:00 to 23:00 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.