Westminster maternity suite – 21 Sept 2020

During these unprecedented times, we have been working tirelessly to keep women, partners, babies and staff safe.  To help reduce the spread of infection, this has meant making changes to our visiting policies.

While we have been able to continue to support one birthing partner to attend and stay with a woman during labour and birth throughout the pandemic, we do appreciate how difficult some of the other changes have been for women and their families in our care.

We have continuously reviewed our safety measures so that we can reintroduce access for partners during antenatal and postnatal inpatient stay at the right time.

Following the publication of updated national guidance, we are pleased to announce that we are now able to take a phased approach to reintroducing one partner or accompanying adult to support women in the following settings in addition to labour and birth from 21 September 2020.

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

One partner or accompanying adult can visit for up to two hours per day, using a booking system.  This will help us maintain social distancing between other visitors and maternity staff. To book a slot, please contact the Westminster Maternity Suite 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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