In line with national guidance and in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, on 23 March 2020, we took the difficult decision to implement visitor restrictions across the Trust, which included our maternity services.
We understand that restrictions to our maternity services are incredibly difficult for mums-to-be and their partners but COVID-19 is highly infectious and can have devastating consequences. Pregnant women have been included in the list of people who are classed as ‘at-risk’, which means they are considered to be more vulnerable than the general population.
The restrictions we put in place reduced the footfall through our maternity services, helping us to limit the transmission of the virus and keep women and their babies safe.
This month, a national framework to support maternity services with the local reintroduction of partners and visitors was issued. Since the publication of this guidance, we have undertaken several risk assessments across our maternity services to see where restrictions can be safely further reduced.
Following this review, we have taken the decision to further reduce our restrictions.
From Friday 2 October 2020:
- One partner or designated individual is able to attend the dating scan (at approx 12 weeks) and the anomaly scan (at 20 weeks), they are not able to stay for any subsequent appointments with a doctor or midwife.
- All other scans, such as growth scans, should be attended alone, though exceptions can be made if we anticipate having to break bad news
- If a woman is being induced, they can have a partner or designated individual attend with them between the hours of 10am and 6pm. Outside of these hours our staff will continue to contact partners and ask them to attend the unit if, due to pain or distress, support is required.
- One partner or designated individual may make an appointment with ward staff to visit Bassett Ward once per day for a set time (up to 8 hours) between the hours of 10am and 6pm.
As throughout the whole of the COVID-19 pandemic, if a woman is being cared for in labour ward or in theatre, they can have one birth partner with them. This is usually when they are in labour, having a caesarean or in the immediate postnatal period.
We understand these restrictions may still be difficult for mums-to-be and their partners, but we’d like to reiterate that if a mum-to-be is being induced and is in pain or distress, we will contact their partner and ask them to attend, regardless of what time of day it is.
We are unable to answer any individual comments at this time, but if you have any specific concerns about your maternity care, please speak to your midwife.