Visiting our maternity services
Due to the COVID-19 response, guidance for visiting our maternity services has changed. This to ensure the safety of our patients and staff.
We are pleased to announce that from today (Tuesday 14th July), partners will again be able to accompany mums-to-be to their 12-week dating scans, 20-week anomaly scans and growth scans.
The trust was forced to introduce restrictions following the announcement of the lockdown back in March, because it was not possible for partners to remain socially distanced in the confined settings of the scan rooms.
However, the recent decision to allow visitors back into non COVID-19 areas of the hospital, conditional on the wearing of face coverings, has enabled us to review the access arrangements for partners, and having undertaken new risk assessments we can now allow them to attend again. Please note that children are not permitted to attend scans with partners, regardless of age.
To those parents-to-be who were not able to share this special moment during the lockdown restrictions, we fully understand your frustrations and we sympathise with your predicament.
We hope you understand that the safety of our patients and staff has been our number one priority at all times, and it simply has not been possible to allow partners to attend scans until now.
Please note – although partners will be permitted to attend the above scans, they will not be able to accompany you to any separate appointments you may have, as social distancing requirements will still be in force in our waiting area, nor will they be able to accompany you to the Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit (EPAU), where the waiting area is similarly restricted.
Maternity Day Assessment Unit
- The Maternity Day Assessment Unit is not able to accommodate partners or visitors at present, in order to keep everyone as safe as possible.
- We ask that your partner or person accompanying you to hospital waits for you in the car or grounds outside the hospital, or stays in contact with you by mobile phone and returns to collect you when you are ready to go home.
- When you arrive at the doors, you will be met by a midwife or midwifery care assistant who will show you to an area where you will be assessed. Everyone will be wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment when they approach you.
- Please do continue to call us if you have any concerns about your or your baby’s well-being, particularly if your baby’s movements are reduced.
Labour Suite and the Midwifery Led Birthing Unit
- One partner is welcome to remain with you when you are in labour, and the same applies to those having a planned caesarean section. In all but extreme circumstances they will be able to stay with you throughout the birth, and we’ll do our utmost to make sure this happens.
- You and your chosen partner do not have to be from the same household.
- When you first arrive (unless it is obvious that you are in advanced labour), you will be asked to come in on your own for your initial assessment with your midwife.
- Partners may choose to remain in the car or hospital grounds outside until after your initial assessment has taken place and it has been agreed that you will stay in.
- However, it may be necessary for your partner to accompany you to the doors of Labour Suite or MLBU if you are in pain and need support. In this case, your partner will be asked to wait outside.
- The midwife will welcome you in to your own private room, and after the initial assessment has taken place, your partner will be invited to join you.
- Partners - please be prepared to stay on the unit once you have settled in, i.e. bring plenty of snacks and drinks, etc. and bring everything you might need from the car so that you can reduce the amount of time spent walking around the hospital. This is to keep you and others safe.
Postnatal Ward – Ward F11
- There is currently no visiting on Ward F11 – this includes partners. If you need to be admitted to Ward F11 after being assessed on the Labour Suite or MLBU, or after having your baby, your midwife will take you on to the ward after you have spent time with your partner and any questions your partner has have been answered.
- The same applies if you are being admitted to have your labour induced. There are different methods of inducing labour, and we have recently introduced a method called ‘Dilapan-S’. This option means that you can spend more time relaxing at home, and less time waiting for labour to start in hospital. It is not suitable for everyone – ask your obstetrician or midwife. (insert link to patient information leaflet here ?). If that is not an option for you, we will take care of you on the ward until you are ready to be transferred to the Labour Suite, and then your partner can join you in your private room.
- If you need to be admitted during your pregnancy, please be aware that you will also need to be prepared to remain on the ward, and avoid making trips around the hospital and outside. Make sure you have plenty to keep you occupied and a supply of snacks, etc. This is to keep you as safe as possible and reduce your risk of coming into contact with the virus.
- Staff are on hand to provide emotional and physical support, as well has helping with the practicalities. You will not be alone.
- You are welcome to keep your phone charged (make sure you pack your charger) so that you can keep in contact with your partner and family. Please be aware that we are unable to disclose any information about any of our patients over the telephone. We want to keep your partner involved as much as possible, but we must abide by rules to protect patient confidentiality.
- When you are ready to be discharged from hospital the process for partners coming to collect you (and your baby) will be explained by the staff.
We acknowledge that there may be exceptional circumstances that makes this policy difficult for you and we would encourage you to discuss this with your midwife.