(Saturday 17 April 2021): Bermuda Hospitals Board today advises that the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre will not be open for the rest of this weekend. The closure is to enable a deep clean following a COVID-19 case in the facility. We are following all usual procedures for unexpected exposures. We apologise for the short notice. Once the cleaning is complete, the UCC will open again at its normal hours. The cleaning is to ensure the safety of the UCC staff and patients. The Emergency Department remains open for all emergency cases. If someone has COVID-19 or suspects they have symptoms, they should call 239-2009 or 239-1301 before arrival.
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Sunday 4 April 2021: Bermuda Hospitals Board today urged families to take their loved ones home for discharge today to ensure there is enough space for people who require hospital care, and urged everyone over 16 to get vaccinated in order to protect against serious illness and death, and keep hospitalisations down.
People are also reminded that if they are COVID-19 positive, been asked to quarantine or believe they may have COVID-19 symptoms, they should not just turn up at the Emergency Department, but call 239-2009 or 239-1301 for advice on accessing the hospital safely. Symptoms of COVID19 include but are not limited to:
□ Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
□ Fever of 100.4°F or higher or a sense of having a fever
□ Sore throat
□ New loss of taste or smell
□ Muscle or body aches
□ Congestion/runny nose
□ Unusual tiredness
CEO Dr Michael Richmond comments: “We are concerned about the rising numbers of infections in Bermuda, and urge the community to do what they can to protect themselves. Over the holiday weekend we have had a surge of COVID-19 patients needing admission to the hospital and intensive care unit. The latest reported figures highlight how quickly we have risen to 18 patients with COVID-19, four of whom are in the ICU. We are prepared. We have opened up our overflow ICU already, and have opened up additional areas with beds to maximise capacity. We have good supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE), medications and oxygen. We are managing right now, but we need the community to play their part in ensuring hospital services can continue to manage and that care for everyone in Bermuda is not compromised.”
Chief of Nursing Judy Richardson comments: “We know some families struggle helping their loved one get home when they are ready for discharge, but we need them to act now. Hospitalisation numbers due to COVID-19 are rising in the wake of a sustained surge of cases in the community. The pattern seen the world over is when community cases rise and stay high, hospitals can become overwhelmed very quickly. We are preparing internally, but we also need families to ensure their loved ones who are in hospital go home as soon as they are medically fit to do so.”
Chief of Staff Dr Wesley Miller adds: “Vaccination protects against serious illness and death from COVID-19. Data from Government is already showing that over 90% of the people testing positive are not fully vaccinated. None of the people admitted to KEMH are fully vaccinated, highlighting that you are at much higher risk of serious illness if you are not vaccinated. The small 10% of people testing positive who are fully vaccinated are not getting seriously ill and not needing hospital inpatient care. The risks of rising numbers are not just to people sick with COVID, but if too many people get sick and need hospital care, all healthcare services will be impacted and people on island needing surgeries or management of ongoing conditions are going to suffer. It is time to work together to get through this difficult time. There is no excuse for not getting vaccinated, unless advised by your doctor. This is a safe and effective vaccine, properly tested, safely provided, and free for everyone over 16.”
Tuesday 30 March 2021: BHB today provides a further update as it responds to the large surge in COVID-19 cases. Actions undertaken are to limit potential transmission within the BHB environment and protect vulnerable residents and patients, and also to be prepared should hospitalisations rise.
Chief of Staff Dr Wesley Miller comments: “Our initial response has been to reduce footfall and minimise transmission throughout the hospital to protect the most vulnerable people in our care. We are balancing this with the need to maintain medical and psychiatric services. This is why visitation has generally ceased, and outpatients services where possible are moving to remote consultations.
“We are also aware that hospitalisation numbers for people with COVID-19 tend to lag behind the rise in infections by about two weeks, so some of our preparations are ensuring we could manage a surge of people with COVID-19 needing hospital care. We hope that the impressive roll out of vaccines, especially in our older and more vulnerable groups, will protect us from more serious cases, but we still must be ready to care for our community come what may. Thankfully, from our experience last year, we now can triple our critical care capacity and increase acute care beds, and we now have double the oxygen supply we had during the first wave.”
Update on Service Changes:
- Outpatient and urgent/emergency surgeries will continue, but routine elective surgeries (also called same day admissions as these patients need a hospital bed after surgery) will cease, unless they are becoming urgent. This move is to ensure BHB has enough bed space should hospitalisation numbers due to COVID-19 rise.
- Imaging Services Department has rescheduled non-urgent outpatient service to focus on emergencies and inpatient needs.
- The Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre x-ray service will cease for two weeks, but the urgent care clinic service with a doctor and nurse will open usual hours (noon to 8pm weekdays and 9am to 9pm weekends).
- Outpatient clinics (for example, appointments with specialist physicians and psychiatrists) will convert to teleconsultations where possible. In-person consultations will be provided if needed.
- Outpatient services that require an in-person appointment may be rescheduled if not urgent. Patients will be contacted directly if they need to be rescheduled, and staff will focus on inpatient and emergency/urgent needs.
- Lab services will continue as usual, by appointment only.
- Dialysis appointments will continue as usual.
- Chemotherapy appointments will continue, although some oncology consultations may be managed remotely.
- There is no visitation for patients in acute care and long term care units across BHB. Moms may have one designated support person in Maternity, but all other visitation is by exception only. Exceptions include end of life and young children.
Accessing Emergency Medical and Psychiatric Care During the COVID-19 Surge:
If you have tested positive for COVID-19, are on quarantine or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, you should check the COVID-19 symptom checker at bermudahospitals.bm or gov.bm when first assessing your need for care. Call your GP if you need advice on managing symptoms. If hospital care is needed, you should call the Emergency Department (ED) and not turn up before speaking to a member of the ED, who can advise you how to access the hospital safely. Do not go to the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre (UCC). No companions are allowed at either the ED or UCC, unless a parent with a child, or a companion to a vulnerable or combative adult.
Anyone experiencing a mental health crisis, including thoughts about suicide, can call the 24/7 Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute (MWI) crisis line at 239-1111. Help is there around the clock. While the weekday walk-in service is temporarily suspended, anyone calling the crisis line will be assessed and advised on accessing MWI safely for an in-person consult if necessary.
Reminder on Requirements for Accessing BHB Facilities
Anyone who does have to access BHB facilities are reminded to use the screens for a temperature and mask check on entry and then go to the reception desk. At all times, wear your mask, maintain physical distancing, and wash your hands regularly and well.
Monday 29 March 2021: Due to the large surge of positive COVID-19 cases in the community, BHB will be ceasing all visiting from noon today, Monday 29 March, for acute inpatient units at KEMH and MWI, other than in exceptional circumstances such as end of life or young children. Visiting to long term care units, including group homes, ceased last week.
Maternity will continue to have a support person allowed for moms.
For anyone wanting to reach out to their loved ones in hospital, wifi is free at BHB, so inpatients and residents can use mobile and laptops to stay in touch without incurring costs.
For other areas of the hospital:
· Outpatient clinics are currently reviewing individual cases and will introduce more telemedicine and focus on urgent cases. Surgical services are also reviewing lists. Patients will be contacted directly should there be any rescheduling required.
· Dialysis services will continue as normal.
· Imaging Services is temporarily reducing its non-urgent outpatient service, prioritising emergency, urgent and inpatient needs.
· Emergency Department patients are reminded that companions are not allowed, unless a parent with a child, or carer/companion/relative with a vulnerable or combative adult.
· Anyone worried they may have COVID-19 symptoms can refer to the Symptom Checklist (click here), and should call their doctor or the Emergency Department before seeking care in person.
Anyone who does have to access our hospitals are reminded to use the screens for a temperature and mask check, and wear your mask at all times, maintain physical distancing and wash your hands regularly and well.
Wednesday 24 March 2021: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today announces a return to increased restrictions for visitors of inpatients and long term care residents at KEMH and MWI in response to the surge in the prevalence of a highly infectious strain of COVID-19. Changes will come into effect on Thursday 25 March at noon.
Long term care residents and isolation patients on any ward will no longer receive visitors. Acute and critical care patients can have one designated person who can visit them during their stay. The designated person can visit once a day, for up to two hours between 12 noon and 6pm.
Gosling (children’s ward) will allow limited visits by parents only, and Maternity visiting will stay the same as before, with one designated support person able to attend the birth and visit once a day if the mother stays longer than 24 hours.
While there are no significant changes in the Emergency Department and Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre (UCC), people are reminded that people who need emergency care should come into the Emergency Department or UCC on their own. Due to the need for appropriate physical distancing, the waiting room cannot safely accommodate companions, relatives or carers as well as patients. As such, companions, relatives or carers can only be permitted in certain situations, such as one parent with their child (under 18), or a carer or relative with a vulnerable or combative patient. As an indoor space, the risks of transmission rises with the number of people in the waiting room and the time they are waiting.
Free wifi is available at BHB so patients and residents can stay in touch by phone or video. Anyone visiting or attending BHB facilities must first go through a temperature and mask check. They must use the available hand sanitisers, and wear a mask and maintain physical distancing at all times.
CEO & President Michael Richmond, MD, comments: “We are very concerned at the increasing number of infections by a variant of COVID-19 that is more infectious. This poses a grave threat to our vulnerable patients and residents, and our response is a first step based on current data. If prevalence continues to rise, we may be forced to stop all visiting and look at other restrictions. We will be monitoring the test results from Government closely each day, as well as our own numbers. We had nine people visit Emergency between last Friday and Monday who were COVID-19 positive. This is the direct consequence of the number of infections rising in the community. We hope, however, that people in Bermuda will continue to pull together, follow the public health guidance, and get vaccinated as this is our path back to some level of normalcy. We each have the power to stand against COVID-19, save lives and get the country through, and if the prevalence reduces again we will once more relax visitation.”
Visitation guidelines from Thursday 25 March by area:
• Acute care inpatient units and Intensive Care Unit (KEMH)
(Ace Barber, Ascendant Partner Re, Catlin Lindo, Curtis, Agape and ICU)
One designated support person identified by each patient may visit once a day for up to two hours between 12 noon and 6pm.
• Gosling Ward
Only parents can visit.
• Isolation patients on any ward (MWI and KEMH)
(Isolation patients either have a confirmed infectious disease, such as COVID-19, or are waiting for the results. All patients admitted are tested for COVID-19 and are on isolation until they receive a negative result)
No visitors, other than in truly exceptional circumstances (such as end of life). Individuals must be approved by the unit manager before visiting.
• Long term care residents (MWI and KEMH)
(KEMH: Cooper, Gordon and Perry Units; MWI: Devon Lodge, Reid Ward and all group homes)
No visitation allowed, other than in exceptional circumstances (such as end of life).
• Agape House
No visitors for long stay patients at Agape House. Patients in their last phase of dying will be allowed two visitors in the room at a time who will be required to wear full personal protective equipment.
One designated support person can attend the birth and up to eight hours afterwards. If mom stays on the ward longer than 24 hours, the support person can visit for up to four hours once a day.
Friday 12 March 2021: Six Bermuda College students enrolled in the Applied Science and Technology programme toured the solar thermal panel installation at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital in February. Accompanied by their technical sciences lecturer, engineer Joseph Weeks, the students, all male, were shown the control room and the solar thermal panels on the roof of the Acute Care Wing. The tour was led by the Acute Care Wing facility manager, who provided detailed information on how the system works and how the panels are secured.
“The tour provided the students with a first-hand look at the practical application of what they learn in the classroom,” said Mr Weeks. “It’s important for their development to be able to perform in the real world. I thank Bermuda Hospitals Board for accommodating us particularly during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”
Tuesday 9 March 2021: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) nurses and nursing aides on the Ace Barber Unit received gift boxes from two local students this month.
Alaiyah Hayward from Bermuda College and Jezhari Talbot from Berkeley Institute made the donation from their newly formed charity – Caring for the Caregivers (CFTC).
“CFTC’s purpose is to support our essential workers while also contributing to our local economy, by creating self-care baskets for workers with items sourced from local businesses,” the duo said in an email to BHB.
The email continued: “We have chosen to donate boxes to essential workers at your place of employment. We are looking forward to your reply to this email so we can organize how we can distribute them. We are truly thankful for what you have done for our country!”
When contacted, Ms Hayward and Ms Talbot said they wanted the gifts to be given to nurses on the Ace Barber Unit as this is the ward where the majority of patients who test positive for COVID-19 are admitted, unless they require ICU treatment.
On Monday 1 March, Ms Hayward presented 15 boxes at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital to BHB Chief of Nursing Judy Richardson, Clinical Director Medical/Surgical Services Karen Raynor and Ace Barber Clinical Resource Nurse Dunae Richards.
“This is such a thoughtful gesture from Ms Hayward and Ms Talbot,” said Ms Richardson. “We truly appreciate the gifts and I’m sure our nurses will love them. They are beautifully packaged, demonstrating the care their charity is all about.”
“The nurses and nursing aides were excited with their gifts,” said Ms Richards. “They were unexpected and welcomed. It completely brightened the day of the 15 recipients.”
Each box contained a mixture of items sourced from local vendors, including Coco Aroma, MarketPlace, Royalty Rootz, Esso, Quench Bermuda, Salt+Cedar, Naked Zero, Ahmani’s Cookie Company and ESC Limited.
The gift boxes were made possible through donations from Chubb and Validus Re.
Pictured Above: Judy Richardson, Chief of Nursing; nurse Carolann Tacklyn; Karen Raynor, Clinical Director Medical and Surgical Services; Alaiyah Hayward, Caring For the Caregiver; Dunae Richards, Clinical Resource Manager, Ace Barber; and nursing assistant Elizabeth Dore
Wednesday 3 March 2021: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) road traffic accident statistics for the month of January 2021 show that 96 cases were seen in the Emergency Department of King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre. Three of the 96 required admission to ICU and 14 to other acute care wards. One minor, a 16 year old, was among the 14 admitted to general wards.
You can download a copy of January’s statistics below.
Wednesday 24 February 2021: Seventeen members of the Food Services team at Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) completed a 16-week nutrition course this month. The sessions were led by registered dietitian Arlene MacGuinness, owner of ANEW – Applied Nutrition, Exercise and Wellness.
ANEW is registered as an advanced facility with the Bermuda Health Council’s Provider Advantage Programme.
“The Food Services leadership team and all the cooks took the course,” said BHB Food Services Manager Norman Gardener. “The presenter was engaging and it was good to have our team’s nutrition knowledge refreshed.”
Although already trained in nutrition, BHB Executive Chef Thomas Frost said: “The course was beneficial in that it brought the whole team together where we could pause and focus on how we can improve our service, both to patients and to staff.”
“Focusing on nutrition fuels the excitement I already have about cooking and creating meals,” said Sivakumar Senthamaraikannan, cook for 7 Point Café, the staff cafeteria at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH). “I thank management for recognising the need for this type of culinary and nutritional training, and I am looking forward to forging a greater relationship with the dietitians.”
“Knowing I play a part in the health of staff and patients who eat what I prepare motivates me to do my best,” said cook Romey McDonald. “To know what’s nutritious and how to retain the nutrition in those items so that they can benefit those who consume it is important.”
Assistant Food Services Manager Nathalie Barnett-Dill said: “This focus on training is a part of Food Services’ mandate to ensure our team stays current with opportunities that are available in the ever-evolving food industry.”
Deputy CEO R Scott Pearman said: “On behalf of the management team, I congratulate the Food Services team for investing in measures to ensure our patient and staff meals have the appropriate nutritional balance, taste and quality presentation. With the vast array of dietary restrictions our inpatients have to adhere to, the job of our Food Services staff can be challenging, but they are dedicated to ensuring a positive experience for all our patients.”
The culinary training course included the following:
Session 1: The Power of Food
Session 2: Nutrition Standards and Tools
Session 3: Carbohydrates
Session 4: Fats and Oils
Session 5: Proteins
Session 6: Vitamins, Minerals and Phytochemicals
Session 7: Planning Healthful Menus
Session 8: The Flavour Factor
Session 9: Healthful Cooking Techniques
Session 10: Communicating Nutrition Messages
Topic 11: Food for Healthful Living
Topic 12: Serving Guests with Special Health Needs
Thursday 4 February 2021: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today released a short one-week survey for the community to have their say about the hospitals and what improvements it could make to make them more satisfied with local hospital services delivered from King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute, Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre and BHB group homes.
BHB’s current five-year strategy ends in March 2021, and work is well underway to develop a pathway for the next five years. BHB is asking the community what they think is working and what they think needs to be improved. The short survey takes just a few minutes to complete.
CEO & President Dr Michael Richmond comments: “We are a community hospital, and ensuring the voice of the people who need us and use us is reflected in our strategy helps us identify improvements and strategies that will make a difference for patients and their families. We want to make Bermuda proud, but what does that look like to Bermuda residents? We hope people will take a few minutes to have their say.”
People can use the QR code above using their cell phone, or click on this link for the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BHBCommunity
The survey will be open until Thursday 11 February 2021.