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BHB to ease visiting restrictions starting Wednesday

Tuesday 2 November 2021: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today announces that King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) and Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute (MWI) will allow limited visitation beginning Wednesday 3 November 2021. This follows a period of highly restricted access to the hospitals due to the recent COVID-19 delta surge.

In tandem with increased visitation, BHB’s disaster alert level will be reduced on Wednesday from 3 to 2. Some elective surgeries are taking place this week, with a gradual increase planned over the next few weeks.

CEO Michael Richmond, MD, said: “This surge has been a long and brutal one for our patients, the community and our staff. Thankfully with fewer COVID-19 patients in the hospital we have been able to close down the satellite areas we created to manage the surge in hospitalisations. Those areas, and the employees who staffed them, have now returned to their normal purpose. We know this will come as a great relief to the patients whose surgeries had to be postponed while we dealt with the worst of the surge.”

Chief of Nursing Judy Richardson said: “While we’re not able to go back to normal quite yet, the steady decrease in COVID-19 hospitalisations and continued reduction in community cases mean we can relax our visiting restrictions.

“We know that seeing loved ones can be great for our patients’ mental and physical health. It can also positively contribute to patient safety and quality of care. Conversely, having to restrict visitation takes a toll on everyone involved – patients, their families and even our staff.”

In most cases, acute care and long-term care patients will be able to have one or two visitors at a time starting Wednesday. Patients in the Emergency Department and Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre will be allowed to bring a support person. Complete details are listed below and on the BHB website at bermudahospitals.bm.

VP Clinical Operations (Acute and Ambulatory) Norma Smith added: “We are all looking forward to welcoming visitors back to the hospitals. The last two months have been very difficult for patients and their loved ones. Our nurses and aides have tried to provide as much comfort as possible, but there’s no real substitute for a visit from a family member or friend.

“Please remember, though, that we’re not out of the woods yet when it comes to COVID-19. We ask that you follow all precautions when you visit – including masking, hand washing and physical distancing. Please also adhere to the restrictions that are still in place so we can ensure everyone remains safe.

“If you have any questions about visiting your loved ones, please contact their unit clinical manager, the nurse in charge or the evening/night clinical manager by calling 236-2345.”

Mrs Richardson said: “I’d like to say a special thank you to our patients and the community for bearing with the restrictions and supporting us through this extremely difficult and heart-breaking surge. My thoughts are with those of you who have lost loved ones since the start of the pandemic, and those who have fallen ill.”

The following precautions must be followed when visiting any BHB service:

  • Visitors must be masked at all times, including in patient rooms
  • Visitors must maintain physical distancing at all times, including in patient rooms
  • People who have symptoms of COVID-19 or any other infection will not be allowed to visit
  • If someone has travelled, they should not visit or attend the hospitals with loved ones until they have completed their Government post-travel testing requirements with all negative tests
  • For infection control purposes, visitors will not be allowed to use patient bathrooms and will need to use public restrooms on each floor
  • Overnight stays are not allowed at this time, other than in exceptional circumstances

 Visiting Restrictions from Wednesday 3 November 2021

 Acute care patients in the Acute Care Wing units (Ace Barber, Ascendant Partner Re, Catlin Lindo): Patients who are not on isolation can have up to two visitors in their room at any one time between noon and 8pm.

 Acute care patients in the General Wing (Curtis Unit): As these rooms are smaller and have other patients in them, acute care patients in the General Wing (Curtis Unit) can have one visitor in their room at any one time between noon and 8pm.

 Isolation patients: For patients on isolation due to a known infection of any kind, or in the first 24 hours of admission while waiting for results of the required COVID-19 test, two designated support people pre-identified by the patient will be able to visit for up to two hours per day.

 Intensive Care Unit: Designated support people may visit for two hours between 10am and 2pm, or 4pm and 8pm. Visitors must be on the ICU visitors list.

 Maternity:

  • One designated support person may stay up to 8 hours after the birth
  • If the mother is not discharged within 24 hours, the one designated support person will be allowed to visit between noon and 8pm
  • Doulas will be allowed for the birth with the designated support person
  • Doulas can make postpartum visits once per day between noon and 8pm

 Gosling Unit:

  • Up to two parents may visit minor patients
  • Adult patients can have up to two designated visitors between noon and 8pm

 Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute Acute Inpatient Care (adult, child and adolescent services):

  • Pre-identified support people can visit for 30 minutes each day between noon and 6pm
  • Support people must check in at the front desk
  • One person can visit at any one time and visitation will be in a public space, such as a family conference room

 Long Term Care (KEMH and MWI), including Group Homes:

  • One designated support person can visit for up to two hours each day between noon and 6pm. Isolated patients cannot have visitors.

 Emergency Department and Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre:

  • Patients will be allowed one support person while in the Emergency Department (ED)
  • Vulnerable individuals and children will be allowed up to two support people
  • For end-of-life cases up to two support people can attend
  • Please note if someone dies in the ED or is brought to the hospital after passing away, only one person and one support person for that individual can attend. Up to three people can be in the ED family room. Other family and friends should not attend as there is not adequate space to gather safely, and the ability to offer viewings very limited.
2 November 2021 Home Page, News

BHB announces breast ultrasound service

Wednesday 21 July 2021: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) is on the forefront of breast care with plans to offer breast ultrasound for people with dense breast tissue.

BHB provided the service to its first patients last week. The automated breast ultrasound system (ABUS) is a new piece of equipment that is FDA approved for breast cancer screening as an adjunct to mammography for persons with dense breast tissue.

“We are excited to add the automated breast ultrasound system from GE Healthcare to our comprehensive breast cancer screening programme,” said BHB Chief of Radiology Daniel Stovell. “By offering ABUS in addition to mammography for our patients with dense breast tissue, we anticipate improving detection for small cancers that cannot be seen on a mammogram alone.”

Dense breast tissue has been found to be the most common risk factor for the development of cancer and also makes cancer more difficult to detect using mammography alone, according to multiple large studies. As breast density goes up, the accuracy of mammograms goes down. The difficulty radiologists experience when reading mammograms is that both dense tissue and cancer appear white on a mammogram. With ABUS, suspicious masses appear black against the white of the dense tissue.

“Mammography is the gold standard for the detection of breast cancer. However, it doesn’t work equally well in everyone, particularly those with dense breast tissue,” said Dr Stovell. “Designed and built specifically for screening, research shows that ABUS technology as an adjunct to mammography has the potential to find 35.7 percent additional cancers that would not have been found with mammography alone.”

Dr Stovell recommends women get regular mammograms as suggested by their doctor, and if they have been informed that they have dense breast tissue, that they talk to their doctor or radiologist about specific risks and additional screening tests that might be appropriate.

ABUS scanning is part of the comprehensive service offered in the Mammography Department of BHB’s Imaging Services. Services include:

  • annual mammograms (3D)
  • stereotactic breast biopsies (3D)
  • automated breast ultrasound (ABUS)
  • breast MRI
  • bone density with body composition

Pictured from left: BHB imaging technologists Terricca Smith, Terri Farnan and Carla Cann complete their training on the new automated breast ultrasound (ABUS) system with a volunteer patient

21 July 2021 Home Page, News

UCC returns to longer weekday hours

Tuesday 2 February 2021: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today confirms that the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre (UCC) has returned to its pre-winter plan weekday hours of noon to 8pm from Monday 1 February 2021. Weekend hours and services remain the same, 9am to 9pm, with X-ray service.

Weekday hours were reduced to 4pm to 8pm between 18 December to 31 January so that clinical resources could focus on the Emergency Department, where there is usually an increase in seriously unwell people during the winter period.

Dr Chikezie Dean Okereke, Chief of Emergency, comments: “We are very happy to return to our usual weekday opening hours at the UCC once more. Focusing our resources on the Emergency Department in December and January was once more very helpful in managing an unusually high number of very unwell and staff-dependent patients, who required multiple diagnostics. With lower than usual flu this year, however, we now feel comfortable returning to our pre-winter plan hours.

“We appreciate the understanding of the community as we seek to do our best to care for the people who need our services.”

2 February 2021 Home Page, News

Preston Swan takes on acting COO role

Monday 1 February 2021: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today announces that Preston Swan is taking on the role of acting chief operating officer. Alongside his leadership role at Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute (MWI), where he has served as vice president of MWI clinical operations for the last three years, Mr Swan will take over responsibility for Facilities Management, Security, Estates and Property Management, and Hotel Services (which includes Laundry, Environmental Services and Dietary).

These departments were previously the responsibility of Scott Pearman when he was chief operating officer. As Mr Pearman recently assumed responsibility for a number of BHB strategic projects in his new role as deputy CEO, Mr Swan is taking executive leadership for these critical operational areas of BHB. He will report to CEO & President Michael Richmond, MD.

Mr Swan joined BHB in 1989 as a mental health nurse. He worked on various mental health wards and was promoted to the position of unit coordinator in 1993. In 1996, he was promoted to the position of clinical coordinator of the Community Homes Programme, and in 2004 to the post of clinical director of Turning Point Substance Abuse Programme. Mr Swan held this position until late 2008, when he became vice president of Quality & Risk Management. In 2017, he was appointed vice president of clinical operations at MWI.

Mr Swan trained as a registered mental nurse at the Sussex Downs School of Nursing in England. In 1992, he undertook further training at the Sheffield School of Nursing in England, gaining three ENBs in developments in mental handicap nursing, teaching and assessment in clinical practice, and care in the community. In 2008 he achieved a Master of Business Administration from Heriot-Watt University in Scotland. Mr Swan also serves as a director of the Bermuda Mental Health Foundation.

Dr Richmond comments: “BHB believes in the leadership potential of its staff, and our succession plan identifies the people ready for development opportunities, for stronger and more experienced leaders. I’m very pleased that Preston has agreed to take on a number of executive leadership responsibilities alongside his responsibilities at MWI.

“BHB is working incredibly hard to manage the pandemic response, encourage vaccination, improve care and quality, and develop a new strategic plan that will guide the continued development of our services. Preston will be a valued addition to the team at a very challenging time.”

1 February 2021 Home Page, News

New year’s baby makes a late appearance

Wednesday 6 January 2021: The first baby of 2021 has finally arrived at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) to parents Danielle Pacheco and Daniel Hayward.

Staff of the Maternity Unit welcomed the little girl at 1:40pm yesterday, 5 January 2021. Kalysta Rayne Hayward weighed in at 6lb 2oz.

Last year’s first baby arrived promptly on New Year’s Day 2020 at 7:58am.

 

6 January 2021 Home Page, News

Kindness week inspires MWI patient

From The Royal Gazette: Big-hearted staff at the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute were yesterday praised by a patient inspired by a call to keep sharing kindness in the wake of Mental Health Awareness Week.

The woman, who asked not to be named, said nurses at MWI made Mother’s Day gifts for her to boost her spirits while she was treated in the hospital after a breakdown.

The woman added: “I suffer from depression and bipolar and I think it’s the pandemic that set it off.”

She was speaking after Kim Wilson, the health minister, asked the public to carry forward the kindness theme from Mental Health Awareness Week after the commemoration finished earlier this month.

The woman, who said she had never had inpatient treatment at a mental health institution before, checked into MWI in May after fears for the survival of her business and the stress of Covid-19 worsened condition and propelled her into “a total breakdown”.

She said she became suicidal and had avoided taking medication after she tried to keep her mind occupied with online learning when her business was forced to close and she, along with her family, had to stay at home over the months-long lockdown period.

The woman added: “I just broke down. I called my doctor, and I was told to drive to MWI. They were expecting me when I got there.

“The reason I’m doing this is because they don’t get enough credit for what they do. Every single staff member was amazing. They were my angels. You do not feel isolated. You feel safe.”  …

Published 19 October 2020
19 October 2020 Media

Road closure at KEMH on 27 July

Friday 24 July 2020: Bermuda Hospitals Board advises the public of a temporary road closure scheduled for Monday 27 July 2020 on the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) campus. The closure will affect vehicular traffic from approximately 8am to 6pm.

A crane will be positioned on the KEMH through road between the ambulance bays and the General Wing lobby from 8am, necessitating the closure of that section of the KEMH road until approximately 6pm.

During this period, emergency vehicles and people attending the Emergency Department should use the Point Finger Road entrance. Ambulances will enter and exit on Point Finger Road.

KEMH and the visitor parking lots will remain accessible from both Point Finger Road (Acute Care Wing) and Berry Hill Road (General Wing and Agape House). Traffic will not be able to travel between the General Wing lobby roundabout and Point Finger Road.

For your safety and the safety of others, please use caution and adhere to the barriers and signage.

Bermuda Hospitals Board apologises to the public for any inconvenience caused by the disruption.

KEMH Road Closure Map – 27Jul2020

24 July 2020 Home Page, News

Road closure and traffic interruptions on 26 May at KEMH

Sunday 24 May 2020: Bermuda Hospitals Board advises the public of a temporary road closure scheduled for Tuesday 26 May 2020 on the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) campus. The closure will affect both vehicular and pedestrian through traffic from approximately 6:30pm until midnight.

To facilitate the replacement of some of the beds in the KEMH General Wing and the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute, a container will travel to the KEMH site, interrupting the flow of traffic along Point Finger Road from approximately 5:30pm to 6:30pm on Tuesday.

The container will be positioned on the KEMH through road between the ambulance bays and the General Wing lobby from 6:30pm, necessitating the closure of that section of the KEMH road until approximately midnight.

During this period, emergency vehicles and people attending the Emergency Department should use the Point Finger Road entrance. Ambulances will enter and exit on Point Finger Road.

KEMH and the visitor parking lots will remain accessible from both Point Finger Road (Acute Care Wing) and Berry Hill Road (General Wing and Agape House). Traffic will not be able to travel between the General Wing lobby roundabout and Point Finger Road.

For your safety and the safety of others, please use caution and adhere to the barriers, signage and directions of the security officers.

Bermuda Hospitals Board apologises to the public for any inconvenience caused by the disruption.

KEMH Road Closure Map – 26May2020

24 May 2020 Home Page, News

BHB releases internal management accounts data

Tuesday 18 February 2020: BHB is releasing internal management accounts data from fiscal year 2017, up to and including the third quarter of fiscal year 2020, the latest quarter available. These represent the data shared with staff and the Board, but are unaudited. BHB will continue to provide internal management accounts data quarterly and update information online, as BHB does with its quarterly posting of quality patient safety data, annual plan of projects, statistics by fiscal year and patient satisfaction data by fiscal year.

Additional resources that are already on BHB’s website and can provide additional background to some or all of the years include details of projects, statistics and strategy documents developed:

Update on the current status of BHB’s auditing process since early February 2020:

  • BHB’s 2015 Annual Report has been submitted to the Ministry of Health to start the legislative process.
  • The audit for the 2016 Financial Statements was signed off by the Auditor General last week.
  • BHB is pleased to note that both fiscal years have received unqualified audits.
  • The 2016 financial statements are being presented to BHB’s Finance & Audit Subcommittee this month, after which the annual report will be laid out with a management report.
  • Focus will now be on completing the auditing process for fiscal years 2017 to 2019.

Overview of internal management accounts data for full fiscal years 2017 to 2019:

Comparing the three full fiscal years between 2017 and 2019, total revenue rose from $324.7 million to $329.8 million between fiscal year 2017 and 2019, a rise of $5.1 million or 1.5% over three years. The dip in revenue for 2018 represents a one-off $25 million cut in hospital subsidy.

Total expenses rose from $316.8 million to $329.0 million over this time period, representing $13 million or 3.9% in total.

A substantial increase was experienced in repairs and maintenance, which increased from $18.9 million to $26.9 million, which is 42% or $8 million. This reflects the increasing cost of keeping the ageing KEMH General Wing and MWI facilities safe for patient care. Salaries and benefits, which includes overtime and the costs of casual staff, as well as regular salaries, rose 3% from $188.7 million to $194.3 million.

In the fiscal years 2017-19, BHB revenue was substantially made up of fee-for-service charges, with the addition of an MWI grant and a partial grant for long-term care. In June 2019, BHB moved to a fixed government grant of $322 million.

Achievements over the three years included:

  • Launch of a five-year BHB strategic plan in 2016/17, and the commitment to the triple aim of improving patient outcomes, improving patient satisfaction and reducing the per capita cost of care.
  • Development and publishing of a Clinical Services Plan in 2018 to address improving the health and care of Bermuda’s community, with better community management of chronic illness and a stronger safety net after discharge, to reducing the need for expensive hospital services.
  • Development of a four-year Financial Recovery Plan to manage a $25 million cut in hospital subsidy in 2017/18, which was revised in 2018/2019 due to the expectation of the fixed income agreement which was implemented in June 2019.
  • Initiation of a Service Improvement Programme, with the support of KPMG, to improve effectiveness and efficiency of clinical and administrative processes.
  • Collaborative partnership entered into with the Institute of Healthcare Improvement, to train and support clinical staff in working on quality improvement projects.
  • Clinical agreement entered into with Johns Hopkins in 2019.

Management Account Figures (Unaudited) FY2017 – Q3 FY2020

18 February 2020 Home Page, News

Road closure and traffic interruptions at KEMH on Monday

Thursday 6 February 2020: Bermuda Hospitals Board advises the public of a temporary road closure scheduled for Monday 10 February 2020 on the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) campus. The closure will affect both vehicular and pedestrian through traffic from approximately 6pm until 10:30pm.

To facilitate the replacement of beds in the KEMH General Wing, a container will travel to the KEMH site, interrupting the flow of traffic along Point Finger Road from approximately 5:30pm to 6pm on Monday.

The container will be positioned on the KEMH through road between the ambulance bays and the General Wing lobby from 6pm, necessitating the closure of that section of the KEMH road until approximately 10:30pm.

During this period, emergency vehicles and people attending the Emergency Department should use the Point Finger Road entrance. Ambulances will enter and exit on Point Finger Road.

KEMH and the visitor parking lots will still be accessible from both Point Finger Road (Acute Care Wing) and Berry Hill Road (General Wing and Agape House). Traffic will not be able to travel between the General Wing lobby roundabout and Point Finger Road.

For your safety and the safety of others, please use caution and adhere to the barriers, signage and directions of the security officers.

Bermuda Hospitals Board apologises to the public for any inconvenience caused by the disruption.

KEMH Road Closure Map – 10Feb2020

6 February 2020 Home Page, News