BHB moves to limited visitation

Wednesday 3 June 2020: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today announces that it will allow limited visiting for its acute care patients in King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) and Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute (MWI) from Wednesday 3 June 2020.  This is a phase one relaxation of visiting restrictions.

To safeguard patients and staff, visiting was stopped in April, except for end of life, births and unwell children. This was due to the increasing number of COVID-19 infections in the community and the risks they posed to patients who were already unwell.

Judy Richardson, Chief of Nursing, comments: “We are not out of the woods yet and COVID-19 remains a threat. However, we understand the huge difference it will make to those in our care to see their loved ones. We are moving cautiously and monitoring the COVID-19 presence in Bermuda closely, but hope that continued low infection rates will allow us to gradually relax further in the coming weeks and months ahead.”

Norma Smith, Vice President of Acute and Ambulatory, comments: “Visitors are a vital support for patients, bringing love and connection to those in our care. It was such a hard decision to stop visitation, and as long as infection rates remain low and all government rules on wearing masks, physical distancing and hand hygiene are followed, we will allow limited visitation from 3 June.”

The one exception to the change is that patients on isolation will not be able to receive visitors. This includes all patients who are confirmed as having COVID-19, or who are awaiting COVID-19 test results. All patients admitted to a BHB acute care unit are tested for COVID-19. The results take at least 48 hours, and there will be no visitation during this period.

Requirements of visiting in phase one:

  • Visitors will need to adhere to physical distancing, good hand hygiene and wear masks at all times during their visit (including in private patient rooms). Visiting may be suspended for breaches to social distancing, visiting policy or infection control requirements.
  • Patients must identify visitors as a support person prior to them arriving. Names will be held at the front desks of KEMH and MWI and nurses stations.
  • People who are feeling unwell will not be allowed to visit.
  • 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 in this phase.

Limited visitation by BHB in acute care areas:

Acute Inpatient Care (KEMH)

  • Designated support people can visit for two hours each day between 12 noon and 6pm.
  • Check into the front desk in the Acute Care Wing lobby for KEMH.
  • In the three Acute Care Ward Units at KEMH where patients are in large private rooms, two visitors can attend at any one time.
  • In Curtis Ward in the General Wing of KEMH, due to space and the use of public and semi-public rooms, one visitor will be allowed at any one time.

Acute Inpatient Care – Adults, and Child & Adolescents (MWI)

  • Designated support people can visit for up to 30 minutes each day between 12 noon and 6pm.
  • Check into the front desk.
  • One visitor will be allowed with visitation occurring in a public space (eg family conference room).

Intensive Care Unit

  • One designated support person per patient allowed to visit for two hours between 10am and noon, or 4pm and 6pm.

Emergency Department

  • Patients should come to emergency on their own, to minimise numbers in the ED waiting room and ensure physical distancing is possible.
  • Exceptions for one visitor will be made in the following circumstances:
    • Vulnerable individuals and children (1 parent/support person)
    • Combative individuals
    • End of life cases
    • Deaths (prior to or within the ED)

Maternity

  • One designated support person may stay up to 8 hours after the birth.
  • If the mother is not discharged within 24 hours, the support person will be allowed to visit up to 2 hours a day between 10am and noon.
  • The support person will need to stay in the mother’s room.

KEMH acute care visiting guidelines available on website (Friday 5 June 2020)

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Notes to Editors
The Bermuda Hospitals Board is a quango (quasi autonomous non-governmental organisation) established under the Bermuda Hospitals Board Act, 1970. It has a Bermuda Government-approved Board and a Chief Executive Officer, responsible for King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute. At the heart of both organisations is high-quality care to all patients.

With approximately 1,700 employees, the Bermuda Hospitals Board is Bermuda's second largest employer. King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute are the only healthcare organisations in Bermuda accredited by Accreditation Canada, an independent organisation whose role is to help hospitals examine and improve the quality of care and service they provide to their clients. In addition to providing an extensive list of services for the community, the Bermuda Hospitals Board is part of a referral network that includes some of the world's leading specialist hospitals.

For more information, please visit www.bermudahospitals.bm or contact the Bermuda Hospitals Board Public Relations Department at publicrelations@bhb.bm.