Changes to maternity services

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.

Please see the following information which contains up-to-date information in relation to:

Labour

Pregnancy ultrasound scans

Visiting arrangements

What to expect when attending the hospital

Labour

We are pleased to announce that women are now able to have up to two birth partners with them on our 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.*

Maternity Triage

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 and their partners invited in to join them.

In line with national guidance we have carefully risk assessed the triage department. The physical space in waiting areas and clinical room means that we cannot ensure safe social distancing if both women and partners attend. 

If a women wishes to remain in hospital during early labour, she would not be transferred to the labour ward or the birth centre until her labour is more established and would stay on the triage ward or antenatal ward. In this situation, partners would be asked to wait within the hospital grounds, in the café at Pinderfields, outside or in the car park until labour becomes more established when both be welcomed to a birthing room for the duration of the labour and birth (unless exceptional circumstances when a personalised plan is made). 

Induction

Women are welcome to bring their birth partner with them to their induction admission and 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 visitor 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 visitor 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.*

Please note:

  • All partners, visitors or other supporters must be checked on arrival that they do not have symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 infection or other indications that require a self-isolation period (e.g. recent foreign travel to some countries, recent contact with an infected person), and under either circumstance, they must leave the clinical premises and return home immediately.
  • *An essential visitor is also permitted to attend (essential visitors are supportive individuals required by women with specific communication or care needs, e.g. a carer or interpreter.)
  • All partners, visitors and other supporters must wear face masks for the duration of the time they are in the hospital.
  • All partners, visitors and other supporters must take all reasonable steps to remain with the woman for the duration of the time they are in hospital. They are strongly discouraged from walking around ward and departmental areas to reduce the risk that social distancing cannot be maintained.    

Pregnancy ultrasound scans

Early Pregnancy Assessment scan

One birth supporter is invited to attend EPAU scan, unless exceptional circumstances when a personalised plan is made.

Dating scan

One birth supporter is invited to attend dating scan, unless exceptional circumstances when a personalised plan is made.

Anatomy scan

One birth supporter invited to attend anatomy scan, unless exceptional circumstances when a personalised plan is made.

Growth scans

No birth supporter is invited, unless exceptional circumstances when a personalised plan is made. This is due to the clinical environment and inability to maintain social distancing in the antenatal clinic. This is under further review.   

After your scan, the person accompanying you will be asked to wait in the hospital grounds or car park whilst the rest of your antenatal clinic appointment is completed (blood test etc).

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.

Visiting arrangements

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.

Antenatal, postnatal, transitional care impatient wards

One visitor is invited to attend for up to two hours twice a day between 10am-12pm and 6pm -8pm unless there are exceptional circumstances.

(Where one designated visitor becomes unwell and cannot attend, another may be nominated in their place.)

PACU wards

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).

What to expect when attending the hospital site

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.

  • You must always bring and wear a mask or face covering (apart from in exceptional circumstances). This must not be touched or removed while inside the hospital.
  • Please follow the two metre social distancing guidance wherever possible in the hospital. You will witness that this is not possible for staff when caring for patients and staff will be wearing additional PPE to keep everyone safe.
  • There are floor and seat markings to help people stay 2 metres apart, new safety screens at reception desks, and limits on numbers of people in lifts.
  • Avoid touching any surfaces, entering and leaving the setting as quickly as possible using the most direct route.
  • Please do not use the most direct routes as ‘green routes’ are for cancer patients.
  • At Pontefract Hospital please use the main entrance and the lifts next to WH Smiths.
  • Adult visitors must wear their own face mask or face covering at all times (see exception above).
  • Ward staff may have to restrict or shorten visits in order to maintain social distancing.
  • It is important to maintain the two metre social distancing during visits and as you enter and leave the hospital building, including all communal areas and lifts.
  • Avoid touching any surfaces, entering and leaving the setting as quickly as possible using the most direct route.
  • Hand hygiene - using the disinfectant hand sanitiser provided or soap and water where available:
    • on arrival to the hospital on entering the ward/department
    • when donning/doffing relevant PPE/face coverings
    • on leaving the patient bed space and ward/department
    • on leaving the hospital building
    • as soon as they get home.
  • Please avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth or mask/face-covering with unwashed hands.
  • Please cover any coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin.
  • Please bring as few belongings as possible to minimise the risk of infection.
  • Minimal dining areas are available for the public at present.
  • That ward staff will be wearing PPE. 

This patient information leaflet provides more information

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)

MY Maternity Facebook page

Please join our Facebook page where you can find out more information about pregnancy and birth and postnatal services. You can also access the messenger service to get in touch with a midwife if you have any questions.