The Trust is regularly reviewing their maternity services at Dewsbury, Wakefield and Pontefract hospitals and has today announced a number of changes to their maternity services.
Here's what they have said:
"We are pleased to announce that women are now able to have up to two birth partners with them on our Labour Ward, Bronte Birth Centre and Pinderfields Birth Centre. Birth partners are required to stay in the birthing room for the duration of their visit and wear face masks.
"Birth partners must at all times observe national guidance on social distancing in relation to the prevention to the spread of Covid-19.
"They will be welcome to stay for a few hours after the birth until transfer to the postnatal ward."
Maternity triage provides unplanned and emergency maternity care for women who have concerns about their pregnancy or think they are in labour. They are encouraged women to contact triage for advice 24-7.
In line with national guidance we have carefully risk assessed the triage department. The physical space in waiting areas and clinical room means that we cannot ensure safe social distancing if both women and partners attend.
If a women wishes to remain in hospital during early labour, she would not be transferred to the labour ward or the birth centre until her labour is more established and would stay on the triage ward or antenatal ward.
In this situation, partners would be asked to wait within the hospital grounds, in the café at Pinderfields, outside or in the car park until labour becomes more established when both be welcomed to a birthing room for the duration of the labour and birth (unless exceptional circumstances when a personalised plan is made).
Women are welcome to bring their birth partner with them to their induction admission and for up to three hours following admission. During this time the initial assessment and administration of induction medication will take place along with post medication administration assessments.*
Following this period, Triage and antenatal ward visiting arrangements will apply to the Induction bay. (Where one designated visitor becomes unwell and cannot attend, another may be nominated in their place.)
Maternity theatres – PACU
One birth partner is welcome to attend from admission to approximately two hours after birth. (Where one designated visitor becomes unwell and cannot attend, another may be nominated in their place). They can also attend for up to two hours between 6pm - 8pm, unless there are exceptional circumstances.*
The Trust added that all partners, visitors and supports will be checked on arrival that they don't have any Covid-19 symptoms or any other indications that they may need to self-isolated, such as recent foreign travel or contact with an infected person.
If either of these are the case, they will be asked to leave and return home.
All partners, visitors and other supporters must wear face masks for the duration of the time they are in the hospital.
All partners, visitors and other supporters must take all reasonable steps to remain with the woman for the duration of the time they are in hospital. They are strongly discouraged from walking around ward and departmental areas to reduce the risk that social distancing cannot be maintained.
Early Pregnancy Assessment scan - One birth supporter is invited to attend EPAU scan, unless exceptional circumstances when a personalised plan is made.
Dating scan - One birth supporter is invited to attend dating scan, unless exceptional circumstances when a personalised plan is made.
Anatomy scan - One birth supporter invited to attend anatomy scan, unless exceptional circumstances when a personalised plan is made.
Growth scans - No birth supporter is invited, unless exceptional circumstances when a personalised plan is made. This is due to the clinical environment and inability to maintain social distancing in the antenatal clinic. This is under further review.
After your scan, the person accompanying you will be asked to wait in the hospital grounds or car park whilst the rest of your antenatal clinic appointment is completed (blood test etc).
Children are not be able to attend ultrasound scan appointments. If you do not have any childcare please do not bring children with you as we will be unable to accommodate your scan.
To ensure that we can maintain our levels of safety for everyone, it is important for everyone to follow the expert national guidance on social distancing and self-isolation, staying at home wherever possible, to help limit the spread of COVID-19, protect the most vulnerable people in our communities and our NHS.
Antenatal, postnatal, transitional care impatient wards
One visitor is invited to attend for up to two hours twice a day between 10am-12pm and 6pm -8pm unless there are exceptional circumstances.
One visitor is invited to attend for up to two hours 6pm - 8pm, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
What to expect when visiting
Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 should not come to the hospital, even if these symptoms are mild or intermittent, due to the risk they pose to others.
You must always bring and wear a mask or face covering (apart from in exceptional circumstances). This must not be touched or removed while inside the hospital.
Follow the two metre social distancing guidance wherever possible in the hospital. You will witness that this is not possible for staff when caring for patients and staff will be wearing additional PPE to keep everyone safe.
There are floor and seat markings to help people stay two metres apart, new safety screens at reception desks, and limits on numbers of people in lifts.
Avoid touching any surfaces, entering and leaving the setting as quickly as possible using the most direct route.
Please do not use the most direct routes as ‘green routes’ are for cancer patients.
At Pontefract Hospital please use the main entrance and the lifts next to WH Smiths.
Adult visitors must wear their own face mask or face covering at all times.
Ward staff may have to restrict or shorten visits in order to maintain social distancing.
It is important to maintain the two metre social distancing during visits and as you enter and leave the hospital building, including all communal areas and lifts.
Hand hygiene - using the disinfectant hand sanitiser provided or soap and water where available.