Birth Partners and Visiting
- When attending the hospital for labour and birth, your TWO support partners will be invited to accompany you to the hospital and remain with you throughout your birth until your transfer to the postnatal wards. If you are already admitted to our IOL suite your additional birth support partner will be contacted as you move through to a Delivery area.
- Women undergoing an elective caesarean section will attend the hospital with their nominated ONE support partner and will be admitted to the elective caesarean section Admissions Lounge. Following the delivery of your baby in theatre, you will be moved to recovery where your partner will remain with you. On transfer to the maternity ward your chosen support partner, In addition you may choose a second support partner who will then be able to visit you on the following day by making the appropriate appointment.
- TWO support partners are permitted in the inpatient antenatal and postnatal areas for visiting. Your support partners will already be known to us for postnatal visiting. For antenatal visits, nominated support partners will need to be identified prior to visiting. The named support partners must arrange their visiting slot in advance.
To clarify for all visiting and support whilst you are in our care, TWO support partners are permitted and this must be the same person for all subsequent visits – multiple support partners/visitors are not permitted, unless in exceptional circumstances.
- Siblings are permitted to attend the Maternity Ward areas in addition to the two support partners
- Visiting in the inpatient antenatal and postnatal areas (Maternity ward) will be permitted between the following sessions: 11:00 – 14:00 and 16:00 - 19:00. Visiting will be restricted to one 3 hour visit per day and will need to be booked in advance to obtain a designated time slot. This is to reduce the volume of footfall of visitors within the area throughout the day ensuring safety for women and their babies.
- To book a visiting appointment for the Maternity Base, call 0151 702 4064 between the hours of 08.30-16.00.
- Please note that at present visiting appointment requests can only be made one day at a time – block bookings for set times each day will not be possible. You will be required to contact us each day to book individual appointments.
- Pregnant women are now permitted to be accompanied by ONE support person to most routine appointments.
- This includes; all scan appointments, attendances at the Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit (EPAU), Fetal Medicine Unit (FMU), Maternity Assessment Unit (MAU) and attendance for IOL procedure
- As the above measures will increase footfall across the hospital please only attend the hospital 10 minutes before your appointment at the earliest. Please also be aware that at times of increased footfall or when areas are particularly busy and social distancing cannot be maintained, the Trust may be required to limit access at certain times temporarily and we ask for your co-operation and support if this happens.
- Women will be required to continue attending blood/phlebotomy appointments alone unless there are exceptional circumstances which should be discussed with a member of staff in advance.
- Women who attend community appointments can have ONE support person accompany them to all visits.
- We request that once support partners enter the hospital that they stay inside for the full period of their visit. If you intend to purchase food or other items from somewhere other than the hospital, please bring them with you when you arrive. You will not be permitted to exit and re-enter the hospital in the same period unless there are exceptional circumstances.
- Women who have suffered the loss of a baby will be able to receive support from their nominated support partners initially and staff will also provide bereavement support. In the period after the loss of a baby, family will be able to support women when they are in the care of our Honeysuckle Team – this will normally be limited to a baby’s parents and/or grandparents. We do also politely ask that the two chosen support partners remain the same two people however staff will discuss any specific arrangements or requests in more detail with women and families privately.
Community Midwifery: clinics are still running, however patients are advised not to bring any family members with you to the GP Surgery, Children’s Centre or Hospital during this time.
- Extended family can now visit on the Neonatal unit and this will now allow Parents/Significant others to freely visit the Neonatal unit.
- We ask if you feel unwell that you do not visit the unit and speak with a member of staff.
- If a baby being cared for on the Neonatal Unit is being tested for – or has tested positive for – Covid-19, some visiting restriction measures will be introduced. This will be discussed with families individually.
- To ensure that we continue to maintain the highest standards of infection control we need to ensure that you as parents/significant others that you fully understand the precautions you must take to help us maintain these standards so we can keep visiting open and you must wear the appropriate PPE as guided by the team.
Gynaecology Visiting Policy
Two family members who will be able to visit for one hour. Unless there are exceptional circumstances where additional visiting is needed.
All visitors should still observe the strict 1 metre social distancing principles whilst moving around the hospital, wear face coverings and adhere to strict hand Hygiene on entering and leaving the hospital and clinical areas.
- Provide proof of vaccination
- Take a lateral flow test, regardless of vaccination status and provide proof of a negative result (Briefing template (england.nhs.uk)
- Must agree to follow all IPC procedures – handwashing, wearing mask, safe distance of 1 metre
- Must notify the ward if they develop any symptoms of COVID-19 infection within 48 hrs of their visit to the hospital
- Anyone with cough and colds will not be permitted on to the ward
- Visiting times: Mon-Sun 1200 – 1800 hrs
- Visitors must not arrive before their allocated time.
- Once visit is completed the visitors must immediately exit the unit and the Trust.
The following exceptions should be observed within gynaecology:
- Patients at the end of life
- A carer that is supporting someone with a mental health issue such as dementia, a learning disability or autism or other similar complex conditions where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed.
- Parent / guardian for those patients who are under the age of 18.
- Support person / partner for those patients attending Gynaecology Ward for late medical termination of pregnancy and miscarriage.
- In exceptional cases consideration will be given to individual requests following a comprehensive risk assessment.
Changes to mask wearing guidance
Face coverings are no longer mandatory
This means that when you visit us you will not be asked to wear a face covering but they are available for those who wish to use them.
However, if you are visiting a patient who has confirmed or suspected Covid-19 you will still be required to wear a mask.
If you have any Covid-19 symptoms you should not be attending the hospital as a visitor.
Please be aware this may change.
Guidance for patients
- Inpatients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should be provided with a facemask on admission. This should be worn in multi-bedded bays and communal areas, eg: waiting areas for diagnostics, if this can be tolerated and is deemed safe for the patient. They are not usually required in single rooms, unless, eg: a visitor enters
- All other inpatients are not required to wear a facemask unless this is a personal preference
- Patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 transferring to another area should wear a facemask, if tolerated, to minimise the dispersal of respiratory secretions and reduce environmental contamination
- Outpatients with respiratory symptoms who are required to attend for emergency treatment should wear a facemask/covering, if tolerated, or offered one on arrival
- All other outpatients are not required to wear a facemask unless this is a personal preference.
- In inpatient settings visitors may be asked to wear a face mask when visiting patients with COVID-19, (or similar infections) or vulnerable patients. Visitors may choose to wear a face mask/covering if that is their preference
- Visitors and individuals accompanying patients to outpatient appointments, or the emergency department are not required to wear a facemask unless this is a personal preference.
We ask for everyone’s compliance with these measures to keep our women, newborn babies, families and staff safe and to protect us all from Covid-19.
Thank you for your support and co-operation
Exceptions to visiting access
Temporary restrictions to visiting will be introduced in the following circumstances:
- If a patient or visitor has tested positive for Covid-19.
- If a visitor has Covid-19 symptoms when visiting the hospital.
- If a visitor is isolating as a contact of someone who is Covid-19 positive.
- If a visitor has been contacted by NHS Test and Trace to say they have been in contact with a Covid-19 positive patient.
- If a visitor is shielding.
- If there is a reported staff outbreak of Covid-19 in specific areas of the hospital.
- If any geographical outbreak of Covid-19 or local restrictions introduced requiring stricter measures to control footfall in and out of the hospital is viewed by the Trust to be too high risk if cases continue to rise.
Social Workers/Carers/Advocates/Community Staff
Any patient requiring visitation from external NHS staff or partner agencies will need to be contacted directly. If face to face visitation is unavoidable please contact the Trust Safeguarding Team on 0151 702 4181 (during office hours), out of hours please contact Switchboard 0151 708 9988 and ask to be put through to the bleep holder for the division you require (Maternity / Neonatal etc).
Any professional meetings required (discharge meetings, strategy meetings etc) need to be co-ordinated through the Trust Safeguarding Team in a timely manner as possible