Partners of women being cared for by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s maternity teams will be able to attend additional appointments from this week.
After initially allowing a single one partner/ support person to attend the obstetric ultrasound scan at 12 and 20 weeks, the decision has now been made to welcome partners back into the booking, additional scan appointments and antenatal clinics.
Guidelines remain in place for those coming in to the hospitals to ensure the safety of patients and staff, including following social distancing measures, wearing a face mask and regular hand washing.
Partners coming into the maternity departments will be asked to wait outside the department or in their car, before being invited in as the appointment will commence.
Fay Corder, associate director of midwifery at Hampshire Hospitals, said: “Keeping those in our care, our staff and visitors safe remains our top priority. We are continually reviewing our visiting guidelines in line with national guidance and are closely monitoring the situation locally.
“We know how important it is to have someone by your side during these moments, and have been listening to the feedback of the women we look after and their families. We are looking forward to safely welcoming partners to additional scans and appointments.
“Women will be contacted the day before their appointment to be asked a couple of questions about themselves and their partner to check for symptoms of COVID-19.
“Due to the need for social distancing, partners are asked to wait in the car and to be invited in as the appointment will commence. Partners are advised to park outside the maternity buildings for this reason and provision has been made for these parking areas to be maternity only.
“In maternity, we will continue to support birthing partners to visit the wards between 8am-8pm, and partners are still welcome to stay for the duration of labour.
“We may need to quickly revise the visiting guidelines in place at any time, please continue to look out for updates. Thank you for your support and patience during this time.”
Since the summer, essential visits to patients across the rest of the hospitals have been permitted, with one visitor per patient being able to come into hospital. All visits must be at a time agreed with the ward nurse in charge in advance.
For further details of the trust's current visiting policy, visit https://www.hampshirehospitals.nhs.uk/