In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in line with national recommendations, the maternity service at Northampton General Hospital stopped all non-essential visiting in March 2020. The maternity department continued to provide visiting for one partner for women in established labour. These arrangements were put in place to help prevent the spread of infection and to protect our patients, visitors and staff.
We appreciate that this has been a very difficult time for pregnant women and their partners and we have been undertaking an ongoing risk assessments of these arrangements across our maternity services.
During the past few months, we have worked to lift restrictions as and when it has been safe to do so. We are pleased that following further risk assessments and changes to our estates facilities we can now lift some of the restrictions further. As with our other restrictions, this will be done gradually and could change at any time.
Your partner will be screened each time they enter Labour ward, the Birth Centre or the postnatal wards at Northampton General Hospital.
If at any time your partner presents with a positive result to COVID-19, they must return home and will be advised to self-isolate for 14 days to protect patients and staff.
We are introducing limited visiting for one consistent birth partner only and will ask that birth partners are tested for COVID-19:
- 90 minutes in the observation area following transfer from theatre.
- 4 hours visiting per day for women who are having induction of labour.
- 4 hours visiting on Robert Watson ward, between 14.00-16.00.
We will be asking birth partners to be tested for COVID-19 before permitting visiting to the post-natal ward areas. If your partner declines a test or if the results aren't back yet they will still be able to support you whilst in labour or having an Elective Caesarean section (ELLSCS), however they will not be able to visit ward areas.
Partners will be tested when their partner is admitted or if they are having an elective carsarean section this will be offered at the pre-op check.This will be done on site at NGH, there is no need to arrange a separate test.
Partners will be asked to stay by the bedside and will not be able to wander about the ward or use the toilet facilities.
We are currently working with the sonography department and plan to implement a safe service to allow partners to attend 20 week scans.
The rooms used for the scans are currently too small to accommodate safe social distancing therefore we need to review this further with our sonographers and infection control teams to find a safe solution.
Antenatal clinic (Maternity day unit)
From Monday 5 October 2020, when a woman attends the Antenatal Clinic, their partners may accompany them to some parts of the appointment. The woman will need to attend the unit on their own while their partner waits in the car or outside of the hospital grounds. Once the woman has been taken into a side room for their appointment they can then phone their partner who can then come into the appointment.
Face coverings must be worn at all times and partners must please adhere to these rules.Partners are not permitted to wait inside of the building or outside of the Maternity Day Unit.
Community Antenatal Clinics
Women attending antenatal appointments at the Northampton Saints Hub will not be able to be accompanied by a partner. At the Saints hub we have an average footfall of 150 women per day and the space is not adequate to accommodate safe social distancing when additional people are present.
Allowing visitors to this area would potentially double the footfall, impacting on social distancing guidance and heighten the risk to patients, visitors and staff. Face coverings must be worn at all times by patients.