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Due to COVID-19 coronavirus, we are having to make temporary changes to our services. Click here to find out more Temporary Changes

 

Visiting within maternity services (updated 22 Sept)

21 Sep 2020 17:29:56
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We have been working on our plan to safely reintroduce visiting in Maternity services to other areas of care. We have supported a nominated birth partner for labour and birth throughout the pandemic. Where possible, it is recommended that the nominated birth partners are from the same household or social bubble.

Maintaining the safety of our patients, visitors and staff is a priority for maternity services and for these reasons we have decided to introduce a stepwise approach to reintroduce visiting in Maternity at the Trust.

From Tuesday 22 September we will be reintroducing visiting in the Antenatal department for the fetal anomaly screening (18+0 – 20+6 weeks) scan appointment to one nominated partner. No children will be permitted to attend the antenatal clinic in line with current national guidance and the local infection rates of Covid-19.

The Antenatal clinic clerical team will contact women the day before their appointment to enquire about the nominated partner attending clinic with her, and check that both the mother and their partner are symptom free; reminding them that they should not attend the appointment if they have any symptoms of Covid-19.

Women and their partners will be required to wear a face covering. Unfortunately, at present if for any reason the partner/accompanying adult is unable to wear a face covering they will be unable to accompany the women for her appointments.

Details about what to expect and who can be with you at various stages of your care are available below this announcement.

Antenatal and Postnatal ward: 

In view of the recent government guidelines recommending no more than groups of six, we intend to phase the reintroduction of visiting to one hour per day for each nominated partner. This is to ensure that we can safely reintroduce visiting into the ward area whilst maintaining social distancing. No children will be permitted to attend the  Inpatient ward in line with current national guidance and the local infection rates of Covid-19.

To ensure the safety of our patients, partners and staff we will be offering visiting times as per the following:

  • Blue Bay: One hour per patient visitor during the morning 08.00-1300

  • Green Bay: One hour per patient visitor during the afternoon 13:00-20:00

We know how important it is for partners to be involved in pregnancy, labour and the postnatal period to provide support to women. We are very much looking forward to women having their partners with them more and we thank everyone for their support and patience as we navigate safely through these unprecedented times.

We would like to thank the women accessing our maternity services for being patient with us on the reintroduction of visitors to maternity services at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust. We recognise that it is disappointing and unfortunate for women who are beyond their 20+6 gestation, that they will be unable, at this time, to have their partners there for any future scans and associated outpatient appointments, but we have to ensure the number of people attending the antenatal clinic is limited and managed safely. Opening up all antenatal appointments and ultrasound scans would result in unmanageable numbers in the waiting areas and corridors which would prevent social distancing.

We also understand that women would like to have support at their ultrasound scans and appointments earlier on in their pregnancy, and this will be something we will look at once we have ensured safety around the fetal anomaly scan and associated appointments.

We will be closely monitoring the local R rate, advice on local lockdowns and government restrictions which may result in a review of any changes we have made so far and those that we make in the future.

Thank you

Angela Wood

Chief Nurse

 

What to expect throughout your care

 

Triage

This is the assessment area located on Labour Ward.
If you have any concerns during your pregnancy please call:
01709 42 7700, you will be given advice and advised what to do next.

During Triage telephone calls we will ask about your health and whether or not you are displaying symptoms of Covid-19.  It is very important that you advise us of any symptoms so that we can prepare for your care appropriately

Please attend this area alone.

During Labour

During Labour we support and encourage women to have a birth partner present with them during labour and birth. A single asymptomatic birth partner will be invited to stay with the woman, through labour and birth, unless the birth occurs under general anaesthetic. Having a trusted birth partner present throughout labour is known to make a significant difference to the safety and well-being of women in childbirth.

All women should call the Labour Ward when in early labour for advice. Once your labour is confirmed, you may have 1 birth partner during this time. You will be unable to change birth-partners during labour and unfortunately relatives will be unable to wait outside the Labour Ward. This is to protect you, your partner, the staff and others in the area. You will have time together following the birth of your baby on Labour Ward. If it is safe to do so you may be discharged home from the Labour Ward.

Before admission we will ask questions about your birth partners health, if they are found to have any symptoms of Covid-19 they will be asked to not attend the unit with you. You are asked when making your plans for labour to identify alternative birth partners in case this becomes necessary. 

Elective Caesarean Section

If you are having a planned caesarean section you can have 1 birth partner for the duration of your caesarean birth. If you have signs or confirmed Covid-19 unfortunately it is not possible for your partner to accompany you to theatre. Once the caesarean has been completed you will return to Labour Ward where you can spend some time together as a family before being transferred to the ward. We expect discharge to be within 24hours of the procedure – this is a case by case decision.

Emergency Caesarean Section

If this event should occur during labour, and it is clinically possible your partner can accompany you to theatre & recovery. If you have signs or confirmed Covid-19 unfortunately it is not possible for your partner to accompany you to theatre. Once the caesarean has been completed you will return to Labour Ward where you can spend some time together as a family before being transferred to the ward. Your midwife will support throughout and will advise accordingly during this time. Again your birth companion will leave you at the entrance to Wharncliffe Ward.

Induction of Labour

If you require an induction of labour, and you require admission to the ward, birth partners/visitors are invited for one hour per day at a pre-arranged time. Once your labour is established or you are transferred to the Labour Ward for any reason, your birth partner can join you. This is an assessment based on individual cases.

Please be aware this is only guidance. At the moment our plan is for a phased approach to reintroducing partners and visitors into Maternity services.  We are reviewing our plans regularly so that we are following national guidelines. We will keep you informed at every step of the way if we need to make changes to any of the outlined above.

We appreciate your understanding at this testing and uncertain time for us all, we hope you understand the decisions that are being made around keeping you and your loved ones safe.