04/11/2020 | Press releases

Maternity visiting and appointment arrangements from 5 November 2020

Anyone who is expecting a baby is being reassured that visiting and appointment arrangements in maternity services at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) are not changing.

The following guidance will be in place during the new national lockdown and covers Colchester, Ipswich and Clacton hospitals.

Birthing partners

  • Only one birthing partner may accompany a person in established labour
  • Induction of labour: One birthing partner may come to hospital with a pregnant person at the beginning of the induction of labour process to settle them on to the ward (up to 90 mins). The partner will then be asked to leave until the person is in established labour
  • Caesarean sections: Only one birthing partner may attend with a person for an elective Caesarean section

Only someone who is pregnant may attend the following appointments:

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

    Visiting to antenatal and postnatal wards

    A person’s birthing partner will be able to visit for 45 minutes each day that they are in hospital. We ask that this visitor remains consistent and the visit must be booked in advance.
    The ward clerk or healthcare professional on the ward will be able to arrange the visiting slot.
    All appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) will be worn by staff and visitors must also wear a surgical face mask when they are on our wards.
  • Please be aware that in exceptional circumstances, including breaking sad news or a bereavement, visiting and additional attendance of appointments will be supported by maternity teams.

Anna Shasha, Director of Midwifery at ESNEFT, said: “The experience of our new parents is incredibly important to us.

“We will keep these arrangements under regular review and we will keep everyone updated should we need to make any changes.

“Our number one priority is to keep everyone in our care, and our staff, safe as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

If an expectant parent has any concerns about their health or the health of their baby, we would urge them to contact their midwife who can answer their pregnancy related questions or concerns whenever they need support.

Maternity helplines are also available at Colchester Hospital on 01206 742369 and at Ipswich Hospital on 01473 702666.

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