Maternity Services during COVID-19

December 2020 - Oldham Maternity Visiting Changes – an important message for our local communities  

In response to the Covid19 pandemic visiting and support to partners within maternity has been reduced at our site in Oldham since March 2020. We have always supported women in labour having their birth partners with them and made sure that partners or a support person can spend time with loved ones on the postnatal ward we have had to restrict partners/ support person visiting on the antenatal ward, during the induction process and in the antenatal clinic and scan departments.

We have maintained these restrictions in order to ensure the safety of women and babies in our care. We recognise that for many of our patients these restrictions have been upsetting at significant moments in their lives, but we would like to assure patients and staff that we have been reviewing these restrictions regularly and have been keen as an organisation to relax them as soon as it is safe to do so.

We are pleased to say that we are now at a point where we feel it is appropriate to relax our visiting restrictions as follows:

Scans

  • With effect from Monday 21st December women attending for their dating or 12 week scan can now attend with their partner / support person.
  • Women attending the early pregnancy unit can also attend with their partner / support person.
  • We are asking that patients do not bring children to scan appointments as we are unable to provide a safe space for them.

Antenatal visiting

  • Women who are inpatients on the antenatal ward can have one visitor per day between the hours of 4pm and 8pm with immediate effect.

Inductions

  • Birth partners can now accompany women when they attend for an induction and remain with them whilst the initial induction of labour process is undertaken (approx. 2 hours) after which they will be asked to leave. They can then visit during the hours of 4pm and 8pm with immediate effect.
  • Currently we are unable to facilitate birth partners staying overnight on the ward during the induction process. Birth partners are able to return to the hospital at the point at which women move to the birth centre or labour ward.

Antenatal clinic at the hospital (Oldham and Rochdale)

  • From Monday 4th January 2021 partners or support persons can attend for the booking appointment and for any appointment where the plan is to be discussed about how the baby will be born.

Guidance for all women attending our maternity unit

In order to maintain the safety of all women and staff within the maternity unit we would like to highlight the following:

  • Visitors should be a member of your household bubble
  • The same visitor should be supporting you throughout your pregnancy journey
  • We would ask that you do not bring children with you to any scan appointments or onto the wards
  • Masks must be worn at all times by visitors
  • Women and visitors must regularly wash/sanitise their hands and you will be asked to gel their hands on arrival at the hospital.
  • Visitors should not attend if they have any symptoms of Covid19
  • Visitors should not attend if they have been advised to self-isolate.
  • Visitors should ensure they maintain the appropriate social distance 2m from others

Further planned changes

These are the first in a number of relaxations in visiting we intend to make over the coming weeks.

We hope in the new year to support partners / support persons to attend the anatomy scans and for longer during the induction of labour process.

On behalf of all the maternity team we would like to thank our local communities and families for their patience and we will continue to update you in the new year about further relaxations of our visiting policy.

Thank you

Simon Mehigan

Director of Midwifery

Northern Care Alliance NHS Group