Information regarding maternity appointments, births and ward visiting
A designated supporting person is invited to attend ALL maternity appointments if they can provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 lateral flow test that has been taken within the previous 72 hours or a negative COVID-19 PCR swab result.
A second birth supporter may also attend in labour provided they too can provide evidence of negative COVID-19 lateral flow test that has been taken within the previous 72 hours or a negative COVID-19 PCR swab result. Please note, this second birth partner will not be able to attend any additional areas of the maternity service.
Tests for supporters
- A support person who would like to attend appointments can obtain and undertake a lateral flow test and provide evidence of a negative result.
- They will need to obtain a test kit by ordering from the government test kit site or obtaining one from a pharmacy.
- They will then need to undertake the test themselves and register the results online in accordance with the instructions provided in the kit information.
- If they have recorded a negative test result within a 72 hour period before attending and can provide evidence of this – via the phone app or an email print out – they will be welcome to attend appointments with you provided they have not developed symptoms of COVID-19 since the swab was taken, they will also be able to visit our pre natal and post natal wards between 9am-9pm.
- Twice weekly lateral flow tests have been made available for everyone in England from Friday 9 April 2021.
- Please visit the government website for more information on how and where to obtain a rapid flow lateral test kit and how to carry out tests.
- A single named support person should be identified by you during your pregnancy as the person that will attend your hospital visits and provide support in labour.
- If the named supporter has tested positive for COVID-19 on lateral flow or PCR and have not completed their period of self-isolation they will not be able to attend.
- An alternative supporter with proof of a negative test is permitted to visit wards and attend appointments.
- The support person is required to follow guidance on social distancing and handwashing and must wear a facemask in accordance with Trust requirements at all times.
- Children are NOT permitted at any time for any maternity appointments or visits.
Supporters who do not wish to take a rapid lateral flow test
- It is their choice whether they take a lateral flow test or not.
- Please be assured that this will not affect the supporter’s ability to attend in labour or for a planned elective caesarean section.
- They will not be able to attend antenatal or postnatal appointments because we are unable to ensure safe social distancing.
Supporters who are self-isolating for close contact
- Will be asked to undertake a lateral flow test and bring evidence of a negative result when they attend all settings.
All service users and their supporters MUST wear a facemask and follow current guidance on social distancing and handwashing. Please also follow staff advice if further PPE is required.
If after labour, a baby needs to be transferred to the Neonatal intensive care unit, both parents will be able to be present at the point of transfer. Arrangements are made for both parents to be swabbed for COVID-19. One parent can be with their baby for 24 hours a day – parents are able to alternate. Two-hour long slots can be booked with the Nursing team for other visitors.
- No children will be allowed on the maternity wards or in the maternity clinics.
- Check with your midwife for exceptional circumstances.
- Visitors/birth partners must not enter our maternity unit if they feel unwell, especially if they:
- Have a temperature, a new continuous cough, a loss of taste or smell, or diarrhoea or vomiting.
- Have been in contact with someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19
- Are self-isolating or shielding
Antenatal classes and tours
All face-to-face antenatal classes, tours and drop-in sessions have been cancelled until further notice.
We have prepared information on useful resources you can access online to help prepare you for the birth of your baby on our Birth Choices website
Guidance for women on home visits
If you have any concerns or questions please speak to your midwife or please call: 01296 316101/03