The Maternity Service at Wrightington Wigan and Leigh (WWL) NHS Teaching Hospital Foundation Trust is working closely with our local and national partner agencies to ensure our patients, public and staff remain safe throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
We realise that this is a worrying time for pregnant women and their families and, to allow us to answer any questions or concerns in relation to attending hospital to give birth, a dedicated Maternity help-line has been set up which is available Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm. For any out of hours concerns please contact The Delivery Suite on 01942 778505 or 778709 and ask for the Shift Coordinator.
The Maternity Service has supported visiting for birth partners throughout the pandemic, however given the current surge, there is a need to reduce the risk to mothers, babies and staff in order to keep them safe. This has led to the unprecedented decision to restrict visiting within the Maternity Unit. These restrictions will remain in place for the duration of the pandemic in line with all other NHS services.
Due to the growing seriousness of the pandemic, our decision to make any further changes to visiting restrictions across the Maternity Service will be regularly reviewed and will be amended as soon as it is safe to do so in line with Government guidance.
Our current Maternity Visiting Policy is as follows:
- The Trust cannot accommodate any more than one support partner due to social distancing limitations within Maternity areas of the hospital.
- Please note that no children are permitted to enter the hospital for any appointments (unless they are a patient) or for any visiting.
- One support person is permitted to accompany a pregnant woman to their 12 week scan (NT or dating scan) and 20 week (anomaly) scan.
- Support partners are currently not permitted to accompany women to any other clinic appointments and this is for both hospital and community appointments.
- Women should continue to attend the Maternity Assessment Unit on their own. If a decision is made to admit to the Delivery Suite, your nominated support partner will then be able to attend.
- Visiting for antenatal patients will be for one hour per day and will be required to be booked in advance. This includes women who have been admitted to hospital as an inpatient before giving birth (e.g. for close monitoring) and are being cared for on the maternity ward.
- For those women who are being induced they should attend on their own initially. Should they not be ready for transfer to the Delivery Suite, the next day a one hour visiting time for the nominated support partner will be allocated. When the women are transferred to the Delivery Suite for the next stage of the induction process their nominated birth partner will be contacted and invited to attend.
- Women undergoing an elective caesarean section will attend the hospital and will be admitted to the Maternity Ward. A woman’s chosen support partner will not be able to attend until prior to transfer to theatre to enable them to accompany their partner to theatre for the birth.
- When attending the hospital for labour and birth, your one nominated support partner will be able to wait in the waiting area whilst you are assessed and they will be welcomed in when active labour has been confirmed. They will remain with you throughout your birth until your transfer to the postnatal ward, at which point your support partner will be required to leave the hospital.
- Visiting in postnatal areas will be for one hour each day and your nominated birth partner will be allocated a specific time to attend for this.
- We fully recognise that there are times when women will require additional family support which will be discussed and agreed on an individual basis.
Any birth partner will need to conform to the standard Trust guidance of:
- wearing a hospital grade surgical mask which will be supplied.
- having their temperature checked on attendance, if this is above 37.8 they will be asked to leave the site.
- keeping movement in and out of the Delivery Suite to an absolute minimum and ideally not to leave the area at all.
- respecting the two metre social distancing where possible.
Partners will not be allowed if they have:
- Tested positive for Covid-19 and are currently self-isolating or are awaiting Covid-19 test results.
- Are self-isolating because they have been in close contact with someone who is Covid-19 positive.
- Have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace to say they have been in contact with a Covid-19 positive patient.