Visiting maternity during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
During these unprecedented times, we have been working hard to keep women, partners, babies and staff safe.
To help reduce the spread of infection, this has meant taking difficult decisions around our visiting policies.
While we have been able to continue to support one birthing partner to attend and stay with a woman during labour, birth and four hours post-delivery, we do appreciate how difficult some of the other changes have been for women and their families in our care.
We have continuously reviewed our safety measures so that we can reintroduce access for partners during antenatal and postnatal inpatient stay at the right time, recognising the importance of keeping our staff safe at the same time.
Following the publication of updated national guidance, we are pleased to announce that we are now able to take a phased approach to reintroducing one partner or accompanying adult to support women in the following settings in addition to labour and birth.
Induction of labour
We recognise that induction of labour can take several days from the start of the process to the birth of the baby. The antenatal ward and Hospital Birth Centre can be very busy and this may delay parts of the induction process. Therefore we are not able to have every partner staying from the time the woman is admitted for induction or overnight. We will consider each request carefully and an assessment will be made based on the mother's needs to have a partner or supporting adult present when they feel the need or when labour pains start.
There are no changes to our visiting rules for women during labour. In line with arrangements for induction of labour, birthing partners are allowed to stay with women throughout labour, birth and for up to four hours post-birth (dependent on when the woman and baby are transferred from the labour ward).
Antenatal and postnatal ward
Only one partner or accompanying adult can visit between 1pm and 5pm daily. This must be the same visitor throughout the duration of the stay.
You must check-in at the ward reception desk on arrival.
Maternity ultrasound/fetal medicine led scans
We fully understand the importance of women having the support of a partner or companion during their scans. We are continuously reviewing our approach and listening to the views of our patients during these unprecedented times.
One companion or partner is welcome to attend all planned scans. We have had to make changes to accommodate this. Please read how this may affect you.
- All patients should report to the security guard on the 8th floor for their scan and they will confirm where you need to go (this does not include Maternity Assessment Unit scans, which take place on the 7th floor).
- Please make sure that you arrive no more than 10 minutes before your appointment. If you are any earlier, please wait on the ground floor of the main hospital.
Scans in the Fetal Medicine Unit (light blue zone)
- The patient should report to the Fetal Medicine Unit reception desk.
- The companion or partner should go directly to the orange waiting zone (signposted). When it is time for your appointment, the patient should text/call their partner and advise which room they are in. The companion or partner can then proceed to the room in the Fetal Medicine Unit (light blue zone).
Scans in women's ultrasound (pink zone)
- The patient and their partner/companion should report directly to the women's ultrasound reception desk.
- The patient and partner/companion will be directed to the women's ultrasound waiting area. If there is not enough space, please wait in the orange waiting zone.
Planned scans in the Maternity Assessment Unit (7th floor)
- The patient should report to the reception desk, and will be asked to take a seat in the Maternity Assessment Unit.
- Your partner/companion will be directed to the yellow waiting area, located close to the Maternity Assessment Unit.
- When you are called in for your scan appointment, the patient should text/call their partner/companion to come through.
The following rules apply during your visit to the hospital.
- The wearing of a face covering is mandatory, and it is essential that you wash and/or gel your hands prior to attending.
- Unfortunately, children are not permitted.
- It is essential that we all continue to respect social distancing at all times, and any instructions given by our staff are followed.
- We reserve the right to restrict access if it is deemed unsafe or there is a need to maintain social distancing.
- You should not wait in the lobby area. Anyone waiting here will be asked to leave.
Please read our frequently asked questions for information on staying safe in our hospitals.
All other outpatient appointments
For all other outpatient appointments including antenatal and postnatal appointments and attendance to maternity assessment unit for triage, there are no changes to the current restrictions. Women should continue to attend unaccompanied.
Information for visitors
In order for us to achieve social distancing, optimise safety and limit the potential transmission of COVID-19 between other visitors and the maternity team you will need to carefully follow the conditions below.
- If you or anyone in the household is symptomatic or has been swabbed as COVID-19 positive within the last 10 days, you will not be able to accompany your partner.
- If your partner admitted to the ward is symptomatic or has been swabbed as COVID-19 positive within the last 10 days, you will not be able to visit.
- One designated birth partner / visitor only and from the same social bubble (no swapping at any time).
- Visitors must wear a face mask at all times.
- When entering the ward, please go straight to your partner’s bedside, draw the curtains around the bed and remain by the bed until leaving the ward.
- Wash and/or gel hands upon entering and exiting the ward or clinical area.
- Only use designated visitors toilets, preferably on the ground floor prior to coming up to the ward/clinical area.
- No children permitted including siblings.
- Please use good hand hygiene at all times.
- Please do not eat or drink whilst you are on the ward/clinical area.
- If your partner is being discharged outside of the scheduled visiting times, you will need to wait in the reception area for them.
- If your partner is admitted to the ward outside of the booked visiting time you will not be able to access the ward.
We thank you for your patience and understanding.