Changes to maternity services

The national suspension on visiting has now been lifted. Guidance for visiting will be set by each individual Trust.

We are very pleased to be able to start welcoming visitors back. We appreciate how hard it has been to keep in touch with loved ones who are in hospital with these restrictions in place. We’d like to thank you for your support and understanding during this difficult time.

The health, safety and wellbeing of our patients, communities and individuals and teams remain our absolute priority, and with that in mind, we will begin to introduce visiting to our hospitals in phases and will continue to review our policy.

Visiting arrangements for our maternity services

  • Adult visitors must wear their own face mask or face covering at all times – except for single rooms on the delivery suite/Pinderfields birth centre and Bronte birth centre. 
  • Triage: Women should telephone triage before attending and attend alone unless advised otherwise by the midwife during the telephone consultation. Many women in early labour choose to spend this part of their labour at home, returning when labour is more established. Some women want to come into the hospital, they will not be transferred to labour ward or the birth centre until their labour is more established and so they stay on the triage ward (Gate18b) or are admitted to the antenatal ward on gate 18.
  • Induction of labour: One visitor can visit for up to one hour once a day either 11am-12pm or 4pm-5pm.
  • Antenatal and postnatal wards (Gate 18): One visitor can visit for up to one hour once a day either 11am-12pm or 4pm-5pm.
  • Delivery suite Pinderfields Birth Centre and Bronte Birth Centre: Birthing partners will be asked to wait outside until admission is confirmed. One birthing partner can stay during labour and delivery and for up to two hours post-birth. The swapping of birthing partners is not permitted. If a named birth partner develops symptoms of COVID-19 then women can bring a different birth partner who is symptom free. 
  • Partners are not permitted to stay overnight in the ward areas.
  • Outpatient areas: Women should attend alone unless in exceptional circumstances.
  • The two metre social distancing should be adhered to throughout the hospital; this will restrict the number of visitors able to visit a bay/ward at one time (depending on the size).

MY Loved Ones and virtual communication

Where a face-to-face visit is not practical virtual visits should be supported and facilitated through the ‘MY Loves Ones’ initiative. Through this, you can keep up-to-date on your loved one’s wellbeing. We can also facilitate communication through our message from home service, video and phone calls. For more information please visit our dedicated MY Loves Ones web page:

Visiting guidelines

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. 

Before allowing parents/carers/ visitors to enter any clinical area:

  • A verbal ‘symptom check’ will be carried out by ward staff to ensure that the visitor does not have any symptoms of COVID-19 (high temperature / new, continuous cough / loss or change to sense of smell or taste).
  • Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 should not visit, even if these symptoms are mild or intermittent, due to the risk they pose to others.

What to expect when attending the hospital site:

  • 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.
  • To avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth or mask/face-covering with unwashed hands.
  • To cover any coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin.
  • To 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. 

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)

Ultrasound appointments

At this point, there are no changes to ultrasound appointments. We continue to review this with relevant professional leads and partners across West Yorkshire and Harrogate.   

Dedicated support line

We have set up a dedicated maternity telephone line to answer your questions relating to pregnancy and Covid-19. Calls will be answered by an experienced midwife, 10 am – 12:30 pm and 2 pm - 4-30 pm Monday to Friday (including bank holidays). Call 01977 747433.

If you have any questions please contact your home birth team midwife in the first instance.