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Updated Guidance for Maternity Visiting - 30th April 2021

Maternity visiting is now permitted for outpatient appointments and inpatient stays. Visiting to outpatient appointments will be subject to showing a negative lateral flow test. Your partner will be screened each time they enter Labour ward, the Birth Centre or the postnatal wards at Northampton General Hospital. 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.


Please review the full information on these changes before visiting our wards. 

Getting in Contact

In an emergency

If you, your baby or someone else is seriously ill or in immediate danger, call for an ambulance by dialling 999. If you need to speak to a midwife urgently, you can dial our triage maternity helpline on 01604 545058.


Contacting us about your pregnancy

If you are newly pregnant and need to see a midwife or are pregnant and have recently moved into Northamptonshire, please e-mail your name and contact information to

Or you can call 01604 545430 between Monday and Thursday, lines are open between 8.30am - 4.00pm. Fridays 9:00-15:00 (closed on Bank Holidays).

Your midwife will meet with you in the surgery, a Maternity Hub or in your home. She will ask you questions about you and your family’s health and details of any previous pregnancy’s and births. She will advise you on how to keep well, and give you tips on how to reduce some of the symptoms such as sickness and talk with you about what you can expect from your care.

She will also discuss what will happen at the different appointments and offer to arrange a scan for you and some blood tests. Several antenatal screening tests are performed on a sample of your blood which is usually taken at your booking appointment. In some cases, the baby's father may also be asked to have a blood test to check for inherited conditions, such as sickle cell or thalassaemia.


Our Antenatal Newborn Screening Department can advise you of the screening tests we can offer you and your baby.


We have a specialist maternity bereavement service for immediate and long term sensitive care and support for families experiencing pregnancy loss.


General enquiries

For general enquiries about appointments, please dial 01604 523274 between Monday and Friday, lines are open between 8:00am - 4:00pm.

You are advised to use our triage maternity helpline if you are unable to contact your named midwife and the call is urgent - 07887 566489. If you cannot get through please call 01604 545058 and speak to a midwife on labour ward.

If you have a disability that affects your ability to communicate, please let us know. We are able to provide support such as a British Sign Language Interpreter and provide information in an alternative format if this is required.


Interpreting service

You have a right to an interpreter at all of your appointments and during your care in hospital. Staff can access our interpreting service, which is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. If you do not speak English and need to have an interpreter for your appointment, please let your midwife or doctor know.

It may be considered necessary to use an independant, professional interpreter during your appointment. We do not wish to cause any offense to partners or family members who are kindly offering to translate at appointments. 


Your care

You and your midwife

You will have a named midwife who will care for you throughout your pregnancy, and the days following the birth too. She works as part of a small team and you may get to meet the others if she is on a day off or on annual leave. You will have her mobile number and also the numbers of the others in her team, in case you need to speak to a midwife. However if this is out of hours or you cannot get through you can call the triage number on 07887 566489 or delivery suite on 01604 545058.


Continuity of care

More and more women are being cared for by a Continuity of Care team, you might be  contacted by a Continuity of Care midwife if you are identified as one of the women who will benefit from Continuity of Care. We currently have Iris, Rose and Waterlily. Our aim is to Have 51% of the women in our care  under a Continuity of Care team by 2022 and all women by 2023. This model of care is being implemented nationally as there is overwhelming evidence that statistically, women cared for this way, are more likely to have a positive experience of birth and a better outcome. 


Choices in maternity care including place of birth

It’s never too early to start considering the choices available to you as part of your maternity care. At no point do you have to make definite plans, and you can change your mind at any stage in your pregnancy. What we do know is that women who are given information about the choices available and are involved in their care are more likely to feel in control and have a more positive experience of birth.

You also have the choice to request a caesarean section. You can read some information about having a caesarean section, but you should also speak to your midwife about why you would like a caesarean section. You may also want to talk to other members of your healthcare team, such as your obstetrician or an anaesthetist. 


Maternity and COVID-19

Your baby's movements are as important as ever. Even when isolating it's vital you report reduced movements immediately. If you notice a change in your baby's regular movement call your midwife or the maternity unit immediately. A change in your baby's movements can be an important warning sign that your baby is unwell.

We know that some of our expectant mums have questions about coronavirus (COVID-19). Up-to-date information can be found on the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) website. 

Guidance is also available which covers key information about our maternity services during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We have also produced information for Black and Minority Ethnic women about the support available to you during COVID.

When visiting the hospital, please follow floor markings, maintain 2 metre social distancing at all times and use the hand gel provided at all entrances and exits to maternity services. If your partner experiences any symptoms of COVID-19 or has been in contact with someone who has tested positive with the virus, they must stay at home and not visit the hospital. Please let us know if that is the case.

Please bring sufficient food, drink and other essential items to reduce the number of occasions you need to leave the ward or birthing rooms.


From Monday 12th April pregnant patients will be allowed to bring one support person with them as long as they agree to have a test for COVID-19.


Testing will be required to allow support people to attend:


  • the 12 and 20 week scan appointment
  • fetal medicine clinic appointments


Patients and their support person will need to have completed a lateral flow test at home and have had a negative result. The test is a simple 30 minute swab test of the nose and throat.



Please ensure you have fully read our frequently asked questions on the before attending an appointment in maternity.


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.

When presenting in labour the woman and her birth partner will both be offered COVID-19 swabbing. We ask that the woman and birth partner be from the same household or social bubble unless there as exceptional circumstances. Partners need to wear a face covering at all times.

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.

Women attending for induction of labour (IOL), and their chosen birth partner, will be offered COVID-19 swabbing on arrival at the Maternity unit. This testing is to allow post-natal visiting.

Women who are booked for an elective caesarean section (ELLSCS) will be offered COVID-19 swabbing at their pre-op assessment. During this appointment COVID-19 swabbing is also offered to the birth partner which will allow post-natal visiting.

 The above guidance may change at any time depending on our local COVID-19 situation and hospital response.



Useful information

Along with the advice you are provided by your midwife/doctor and the information on our website, there are other sources of trusted information for women and families in a range of different languages to support women during their pregnancy.

The following apps are not supplied by the NHS but have been recomended by


  • The Mum and Baby App (free) provides extra information and support throughout pregnancy, birth and the postnatal time. It is designed to enhance your maternity experience, including a library of almost 1000 free to download videos covering a wide range of topics. You can search for your local maternity unit and compare to others in the area. The app is free to download on Apple and Android.
  • The Baby Buddy App (free)provides trusted, evidence-based information and self-care tools to help parents build their knowledge and confidence during the transition to parenthood and throughout the early stages of parenting. The app is free to download on Apple and Android and is also available on the internet.

  • The Kicks Count App (free) helps expectant parents get to know their baby's regular pattern of movement. Changes to your baby's movements may be a sign they're unwell. Everytime you feel your baby moving, tap the footprint image on the app. You'll be able to see the number of episodes for each day. The app is free to download on Apple and Android.

  • The Peanut App (Free) aims to make sure no one has to navigate womanhood alone, especially the hard parts. the app gives you access to a social network to connect with other women across fertility and motherhood. It aims to make it easy to meet, chat and learn from like minded women. This app is suitable for women over the age of 17 who want to join a community of mothers. The app is free to download on Apple and Android.


Providing feedback

Providing feedback allows us to improve our service, if you would like to submit any feedback about your experience with maternity services at our hospital, please contact our patient advice and liasion service.


We also have a meet the matron service at the hospital. If you would like to discuss any aspect of your pregnancy or experience with maternity services at our hospital, and would like to speak with a senior member of the maternity services team, please dial 01604 545435 to book an appointment. 


You can also get involved with the Northamptonshire Maternity Voices Partnership. Northamptonshire Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) is a working group made up of mums and families.  The MVP is supported by the NHS Northamptonshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and maternity services from our hospital trusts.  The MVP is an independent forum which has been set up to listen to and speak for service users who have accessed local maternity services. They also have a group on Facebook.


Compliments, comments, concerns and complaints

If you have had a positive experience with us, why not share your compliments. You can do this in a number of ways:

  • Complete a 4C's form, these are available from staff in clinical areas.
  • Fill in a Friends & Family Test Postcard, available in all clinical areas and at the main entrances.
  • Write in to us, you can send your compliments in to the clinical area itself, or write to our Patient Advice & Liaison Services (PALS Office, Northampton General Hospital, Cliftonville, Northampton, NN1 5BD).

If you are not happy with any aspect of your care with us, please follow the next steps:

  • First, tell the person in charge of the ward/department.
  • If they cannot help you, talk to someone from the PALS (Patient Advice & Liaison Services) on 01604 545784.
  • If you are still not happy you may wish to contact the complaints team on 01604 545774 or email

Leaflets are available on all wards and in departments. 

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