27/03/2020 | Announcements, Press releases

Arrangements for visiting and appointments in Maternity services

In line with national guidance we have made changes to visiting arrangements at our hospitals to protect our staff, patients and their families during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

There is some additional guidance for our Maternity departments, which covers Colchester Hospital, Ipswich Hospital and Clacton Hospital with immediate effect.

Only pregnant women (the patient) may attend these appointments until further notice:

  • Ultrasound scans
  • Maternity triage
  • All antenatal appointments (including appointments with a consultant)


  • Only one birthing partner may accompany a woman in labour
  • Only the pregnant woman may attend for an induction. When she is in labour she can be joined by her birthing partner 
  • Only one birthing partner may attend with a woman for an elective Caesarean section
  • No visitors are allowed to visit the postnatal wards after a woman has given birth – this includes the birthing partner as it means moving into another area of the hospital

Melissa Dowdeswell, interim Chief Nurse at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We understand this will be really hard for everyone, but we will be doing our best to reunite families and send mothers and babies home as soon as we can.

“We also understand you may find the decisions we’ve made difficult, but it is for everyone’s safety and you must follow this guidance.

“Please be respectful towards our staff when they share these important instructions with you, they are simply doing their job and following national guidance to protect mothers, babies and themselves during this very challenging time.

“We thank you for your cooperation and understanding.”

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