Visiting to antenatal and postnatal wards
- General visiting to antenatal and postnatal wards is suspended, apart from in exceptional circumstances which will be agreed with the senior midwife. This will reduce the footfall in our maternity units and enable social distancing to be maintained in these smaller, clinical areas
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.
Our teams continue to review all existing visiting and appointment arrangements to keep everybody safe.
Attending ultrasound scans
- One adult can attend 12 and 20 week scans and fetal medicine scans with someone who is pregnant at Ipswich, Colchester and Clacton hospitals. They must not be positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19), or have any symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and they must be able to wear a face mask. You may choose to be accompanied by a different support person at different appointments, as long as all the necessary safety measures, including current lockdown guidance, are followed to make sure you, your support person, other hospital users and staff are safe.
- We’ve redesigned our waiting areas to allow a partner/relative to attend 12 and 20 week scans and fetal medicine scans. Just report to reception when you arrive and you will be told where to sit. This is so we can make sure appropriate social distancing is maintained in the waiting room. After the scan, if no immediate counselling is required the partner/relative should leave the building while any additional care is provided.
The partner/relative attending the scan is respectfully asked to:
- maintain a 2 metre distance from staff
- wear a face mask covering their nose and mouth at all times – partners/relatives will be asked to leave the hospital building and won’t be able to attend the ultrasound scan if they refuse to do so.
In our maternity scanning areas, you:
- must confirm you are free of Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms before coming into the area
- should maintain maximum distance from staff in the ultrasound room and waiting area
- must keep your face covering on – masks are available at all hospital entrances if you need one.
If your partner refuses to wear a face covering they will be asked to leave the area but the scan will continue. If your partner is unable to wear a face covering they will be unable to join you for the scan.
We ask you to be on time for your appointment so that we can have as few people in our waiting area as possible. If you are more than 10 minutes late, we may not be able to scan you on that day and will have to re-book your appointment for another day.
- Only one birthing partner may accompany a pregnant person in established labour. A person’s birthing partner will be able to stay with them from the point of admission to the labour ward until after the birth of their baby until they are either transferred to a postnatal ward, or discharged home – whichever happens first. Birthing partners will sadly not be allowed on to the postnatal ward, unless there are exceptional/compassionate circumstances.
Birthing partners must not be positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19), or have any symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19), and are respectfully asked to:
- maintain a 2 metre distance away from staff within the birthing room
- wear a face mask covering their nose and mouth at all times – birthing partners will be asked to leave the hospital building if they refuse to do so
- stay at the bedside and remain in the birthing room with their partner.
- Induction of labour: One birthing partner will only be able to attend the maternity unit when someone who is pregnant is transferred to the delivery suite in established labour, or to continue the induction of labour process.
- Caesarean sections: Only one birthing partner may attend with a pregnant person for an elective Caesarean section. They will be asked to wait outside the maternity unit the pregnant person is ready to go to theatre. Following the birth, the birthing partner may stay while the person is in recovery, but they will be asked to leave when someone is transferred to the postnatal ward.
Only someone who is pregnant may attend the following appointments:
- Maternity triage
All antenatal appointments (including appointments with a consultant)
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.
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:
Colchester Hospital: 01206 742 369
Ipswich Hospital: 01473 702 666
Help us stop the spread
ESNEFT is asking everyone to help stop the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) by
- washing your hands regularly with soap and water
- wearing a face mask in our hospitals
- following social distancing guidance.
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