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Westminster maternity suite – January 2021

Temporary relocation of private maternity service

In response to the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are making some temporary changes to our private maternity service.

The private maternity unit will be relocated to the 7th floor of North wing, St Thomas’ Hospital within the home from home birth centre. This move is to enable all aspects of maternity care to be delivered in one location to minimise movement around the hospital and reduce the risk of infection.

Changes to our visiting policy

During the pandemic we are restricting visitors to our wards in line with government advice.  Only one partner may visit, and we will be screening all visitors upon arrival to the unit for any symptoms of infection. This is to help ensure the safety of you, your baby and our staff.

For women in labour or elective caesarean section, only one support person will be allowed to attend. Your companion can stay for the duration of labour/caesarean section but will need to leave four hours after delivery. Your support person can then visit 1-5pm daily unless they have symptoms of COVID-19 or have tested positive within the last 10 days.

We will continue to provide you with high levels of clinical care and safety for you and your baby. Please note we have taken these steps to ensure the safety of our patients as our top priority. Thank you for your cooperation.

For more information please contact our team on 020 7188 3457 or email us on westminstermaternitysuite@gstt.nhs.uk

Induction of labour

We recognise that induction of labour in some cases can take several days from the start of the process to the birth of the baby. Sometimes the antenatal ward and Birth Centre can be very busy and this may delay parts of the induction process. Therefore we are not able to accommodate every partner staying from the time the woman is admitted for induction or overnight. We will consider each request carefully and an assessment will be made based on the mothers’ needs to have a partner or supporting adult present when the mother feels the need or when labour pains start.

Antenatal and postnatal ward

We are currently restricting maternity visitors to one birth partner. Your companion can stay for the duration of labour/caesarean section but will need to leave four hours after delivery.

One named support person may visit Westminster Maternity Suite daily between 1pm and 5pm. A booking system is in place to help us maintain social distancing between other visitors and maternity staff.  To book a slot, please contact the  customer care team on 020 7188 3457.

Ultrasound appointments

Unfortunately we are unable to meet the two-metre social distancing requirements in our waiting areas. Therefore, we are currently unable to reintroduce partners or a supporting adult for women attending ultrasound appointments.

In exceptional circumstances, for women with specific communication and care needs, we will make exceptions. We are working through how we might resolve this, and we may have to reorganise our appointment schedules, make appointments longer and use external waiting areas and zones, all of which may be subject to government announcements regarding further COVID-19 restrictions.

For all other outpatient appointments including antenatal and postnatal appointments and attendance to maternity assessment unit for triage, there are no changes to the current restrictions. We are continuously monitoring the national and local guidance to ensure safety for our women and staff and will update the website with any changes. Your help and support in achieving this is very much appreciated.

Information for visitors

In order for us to achieve social distancing, optimise safety and limit the potential transmission of COVID-19 between other visitors and the maternity team you will need to carefully follow the conditions below:

  • If you or anyone in the household is symptomatic or has been swabbed as COVID positive within the last 10 days, you will not be able to accompany your partner
  • If your partner admitted to the ward is symptomatic or has been swabbed as COVID positive within the last 10 days, you will not be able to visit
  • One designated birth partner / visitor only and from the same social bubble (no swapping at any time)
  • Visitors must wear a face mask at all times.
  • Upon entering the ward, please go straight to your partner’s bedside, draw the curtains around the bed and remain by bed space until leaving the ward
  • Wash and/or gel hands upon entering and exiting the ward or clinical area
  • Only use designated visitors toilets, preferably on the ground floor prior to coming up to the ward/clinical area
  • No children permitted including siblings
  • Please use good hand hygiene at all times
  • Please do not eat or drink whilst you are on the ward/clinical area
  • If your partner is being discharged outside of the scheduled visiting times, you will need to wait outside the ward for her
  • If your partner is admitted to the ward outside of the booked visiting time you will not be able to access the ward

We thank you for your patience and understanding.

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