Dear Mums-to-be and family
Continuation of Maternity Services during COVID-19 outbreak
We appreciate that this is a worrying time for you and your family. In Worcestershire the maternity services team have been working hard to plan how our services will continue to provide safe care during the COVID-19 outbreak. We will continue to provide all of our essential services, either face-to-face, or via telephone or video call.
We are aware of the government advice regarding social distancing of pregnant women; however the current guidance from our professional colleges is to continue to provide routine antenatal appointments. We aim to provide the usual schedule of appointments for as long as possible but we may need to reduce this offer once we experience staffing shortages due to Covid-19.
For women who require additional appointments for ultrasound scan and/or monitoring these appointments will continue and you will be advised when these should be completed.
Should you require any additional care following any of these appointments, this will be arranged on an individual basis. Can we ask that you attend these essential appointments alone to reduce footfall in our antenatal clinics to protect you and your family.
Temporary re-location of Maternity Services at the Alexandra Hospital, Redditch
The Antenatal Clinic and the Day Assessment Unit located at the Alexandra Hospital has temporarily relocated. From Tuesday 7th April 2020 patient appointments including scans will be directly transferred to the Princess of Wales Community Hospital, Stourbridge Rd, Bromsgrove B61 0BB.
No other changes to the service have been made, with all existing appointment times and scans remaining the same.
Telephone contact number for Antenatal Clinic will remain the same: - 01527 512004 – please do call if you have any queries or concerns.
Please note that car parking at The Princess of Wales Community Hospital is currently free of charge.
What should you do if you are unwell or self-isolating and have a scheduled appointment?
If you are unwell or you are self-isolating and have an appointment with either your community midwife, clinic or ultrasound department please do NOT attend and contact the midwife or department to make alternative arrangements. Please be assured that we will rearrange your appointment or make arrangements for you to attend the hospital.
There will be no community based parent education or breast feeding support sessions during this time, in line with social distancing advice. We would recommend you access reputable sites for guidance on these matters, or phone your community midwife for advice. We have also taken the difficult decision to temporarily suspend our tongue tie service.
We have identified an area where we can safely isolate mothers and babies who may have been in contact with, or have screened positive for, COVID-19. All women who have chosen to have their babies at the hospital will be cared for on our delivery suite during this period. For those women who had planned to have their baby on Meadow Birth Centre, access to water for labour and birth will be available and if your pregnancy and labour remains uncomplicated you will be cared for by a team of midwives.
Birthing partners can be present during the birth, but during this difficult time we will not be able to support partners to stay on the postnatal ward overnight.
After you have had your baby, we will aim to discharge you within the first 24 hours to minimise the risks of exposure from other members of the public. We would ask you to make arrangements as soon as possible so that once your discharge is completed there is no delay in leaving the ward area. We will visit you at home once to complete the essential neonatal screening. All other contacts will be done by the telephone and if there is a clinical concern a face to face visit will be arranged on an individualised basis.
Further advice on social distancing measures can be found on the government internet page, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults
We would advise you to follow the most recent Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) guidance, https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/guidelines-research-services/guidelines/coronavirus-pregnancy/covid-19-virus-infection-and-pregnancy/
You will be aware from media coverage that advice and guidance is constantly changing in line with new developments and the advice of experts. We will be keeping up-to-date with any changes in guidance and will communicate to you via the Trust website and this will also be available from your community midwife.
Coronavirus - Maternity visiting restrictions
Following the changes implemented by the Government we have had to review our maternity visiting restrictions - this will take immediate effect.
- Unfortunately women will need to attend alone for all antenatal, postnatal and ultrasound scan
appointments either in the hospital or in a community setting.
- One birth partner can be present when in labour and admitted to the delivery suite.
- No visitors will be allowed on the ante/postnatal wards - this includes partners.
We acknowledge how difficult these restrictions will be to families.
However, we have to reduce the risk of transmission of Coronavirus to all our mums, babies, families and staff.
We ask for your understanding and co-operation at this time. Please attend any appointments as recommended by your midwife and/or Consultant Obstetrician
Our maternity services are based at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, where we recently opened our new midwife-led Meadow Birth Centre and an additional maternity ward.
Here, our midwives, children's doctors and obstetricians (doctors who look after women in childbirth) provide high standards of care to suit your individual needs. Our service has been nationally recognised by the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative for our approach to promoting breastfeeding and for the safety and quality of our service. We also work to national guidance on providing better births in Worcestershire.
We’ll care for you throughout your pregnancy, and you will usually be able to attend antenatal clinics and day assessment appointments at whichever of our hospitals is most convenient for you.