Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are reviewing our maternity service guidelines on a regular basis. The health, safety and wellbeing of our patients, communities and individuals and teams remains our absolute priority.
So we can protect everyone from the spread of Covid-19, it is important that anyone coming to one of our hospital sites follows the latest Government Covid-19 guidelines.
One partner or supporter can attend all antenatal ultrasound scans, outpatient appointments, clinic and triage visits at our hospitals subject to appropriate PPE being worn (which may include a mask and visor in areas where social distancing is not possible - visors will be provided by our maternity team if required).
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In line with Government recommendations for twice-weekly lateral flow testing and the importance of keeping everyone safe during this pandemic, we are recommending that all pregnant women and support people undertake a twice-weekly lateral flow Covid-19 test during pregnancy.
This is so that we can maximise the safety for everyone, including pregnant women, their babies and our hospital patients. This will allow us to make sure any Covid infection is picked up early and effectively managed.
Please note: this is a recommendation and it will not change the level of PPE worn by public or staff, it is an extra layer of protection. We will also not refuse to see someone if they decline testing.
How to order a lateral flow test
Where women and their support people test negative for Covid-19 and both staff and support people follow IPC guidelines, including use of PPE, the additional risk of Covid-19 transmission is likely to be small.
What if I get a positive result?
If you receive a positive result, please do not worry: the majority (more than two thirds) of pregnant women who are infected with SARS-CoV-2 will be asymptomatic; most symptomatic women experience only mild or moderate cold/flu-like symptoms.
What if my support person/ birth partner receives a positive result?
If your partner receives a positive result, a confirmatory PCR test will be required to check if the positive result is accurate.
Unfortunately they would not be able to attend clinic visits, appointments or birth with you. You can select an alternative support person who has not tested positive for Covid-19. Further information can be found in this document available on the NHS England website
Visiting times for antenatal, postnatal, transitional care impatient wards and induction suite are:
Please note that induction visiting is in addition to the three hour initial visit.
When you arrive at the department, you'll receive clear instructions about whether you need to wear a visor as well as a mask – if you need to wear a visor we will provide this for you.
One birth supporter is invited to attend all pregnancy ultrasound scans as well as outpatient appointments (at our hospitals only - this does not apply to GPs as this will be at the discretion of individual GP practices), antenatal clinics and antenatal day unit.
The pregnancy ultrasound scans include:
Please note: Children are not be able to attend ultrasound scan appointments. This is so that we can ensure that high levels of infection control are maintained in order to protect the safety of all patients, staff and visitors. If you do not have any childcare please do not bring children with you as we will be unable to accommodate your scan.
Our maternity triage provides unplanned and emergency maternity care for women who have concerns about their pregnancy or think they are in labour. We encourage women to contact triage for advice 24-7. Many women in early labour choose to remain at home until their labour becomes more established. When women come to triage we aim to assess them within 30 mins of arrival and make a plan of care. Women in established labour will be transferred to labour ward or the birth centre.
One birth partner or supporter can be present during triage visits and will be required to wear a face mask and visor whilst in triage (this is due to our triage area being very small and so maintaining social distancing is difficult.)
One birth partner will be welcome to attend admission to the Labour Ward, Bronte Birth Centre and Pinderfields Birth Centre. Birth partners are required to stay in the birthing room for the duration of their visit and wear face masks.
Birth partners must at all times observe national guidance on social distancing in relation to the prevention to the spread of Covid-19.
They will be welcome to stay for a few hours after the birth until transfer to the postnatal ward.*
One birth partner or supporter can attend the admission to the induction bay and stay for up to three hours following admission. During this time the initial assessment and administration of induction medication will take place along with post medication administration assessments.*
Following this period, Triage and antenatal ward visiting arrangements will apply to the induction bay. (Where one designated partner becomes unwell and cannot attend, another may be nominated in their place.)
Maternity theatres – PACU
One birth partner is welcome to attend from admission to approximately two hours after birth. (Where one designated partner becomes unwell and cannot attend, another may be nominated in their place). They can also attend for up to two hours between 6pm - 8pm, unless there are exceptional circumstances.*
To ensure that we can maintain our levels of safety for everyone, it is important for everyone to follow the expert national guidance on social distancing and self-isolation, staying at home wherever possible, to help limit the spread of COVID-19, protect the most vulnerable people in our communities and our NHS.
The health, safety and wellbeing of our patients, communities and individuals and teams remain our absolute priority.
One visitor is invited to attend for up to two hours twice a day between:
unless there are exceptional circumstances.
(Where one designated visitor becomes unwell and cannot attend, another may be nominated in their place.)
One visitor is invited to attend for up to two hours 6pm - 8pm, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
The above includes a designated/nominated visitor observing national guidance on social distancing (where one designated visitor becomes unwell and cannot attend, another may be nominated in their place).
Anyone showing symptoms of Covid-19 should not come to the hospital, even if these symptoms are mild or intermittent, due to the risk they pose to others.
When you arrive at the maternity unit or department you are visiting, clear instructions about whether you need to wear a mask and/or visor – if you need to wear a visor it will be provided by us. Visors will need to be worn in clinical areas where it is not possible to maintain social distancing due to the environment.
'Supporting pregnant women using maternity services during the coronavirus pandemic' guidance
We are currently reviewing the recent national publication 'Supporting pregnant women using maternity services during the coronavirus pandemic' guidance published on 14 December 2020 which is regarding birth supporters being present throughout the whole maternity journey.
We appreciate the importance and value in having a birth supporter present during the maternity journey and aim to provide safe and personalised maternity care.
The health, safety and wellbeing of our patients, communities, individuals and teams remains our absolute priority and we are currently undertaking risk assessments across all areas to enable us to implement this safely and as soon as we can.
The Trust supports one birth partner during labour as well as the immediate postnatal period.
As long as visiting guidance is followed, visitors do not need to self-isolate afterwards as a result of the visit. If at any point a visitor displays symptoms of COVID-19 they should self-isolate at home and organise a test, members of their household should also self-isolate for 14 days.
This information is in line with the ‘Visiting healthcare inpatient settings during the COVID-19 pandemic’ (5 June 2020) which replaces previous NHS ‘Visitor guidance’ (8 April 2020)