12:31PM, Tuesday 15 September 2020
Women attending antenatal scans at Wexham Park Hospital can be accompanied by one support partner from today (Tuesday).
The move was announced via a social media post on the Wexham Maternity Facebook page yesterday, which stated the decision has been made ‘in line with national guidance’.
Since lockdown many pregnant women, who ‘are in a vulnerable group and should continue to keep social interactions low’, have had to attend appointments alone.
Although Wexham Maternity says that its priority ‘has, and always will be, their safety’ it acknowledges ‘how important the issue of support provision is for all women attending antenatal appointments and hospital admissions including labour and post birth’.
The hospital has been ‘gradually welcoming partners back in a slow, controlled way’ since the easing of restrictions, but there are several rules still to follow.
Allowing each woman to have one partner accompanying her at the antenatal scan, and in the waiting area, is said to take into consideration the safety of all women, the risk to staff, and the space available in different areas.
Due to the need for social distancing partners are asked to stand in waiting rooms, but adjustments will be made for people who are unable to stand for prolonged periods.
All women are encouraged to attend appointments on time and to wait outside the hospital if they arrive early. These arrangements will be reviewed again on November 1.
The post adds: “We would ask everyone due to attend appointments at Frimley Park, Wexham Park hospitals or any of our satellite sites to read the following guidance carefully on bringing partners with them.”
The guidance is as follows:
All antenatal/postnatal appointments in midwifery hubs and antenatal clinics
One person can attend an appointment with a partner. Due to space limitations, support partners should stand behind your chair in the waiting area.
One person can attend appointment with a partner. Due to space limitations, support partners should stand behind your chair in the waiting area.
Antenatal Ward/induction of labour
One support person can accompany you between 9am-9pm. This should be the same person supporting during labour.
Birth support in Labour Ward and Birth Centre
One support person can attend the room of the birth centre or ward. Visitors are asked not to use shared facilities.
Elective caesarean section
One support person can attend from admission, during theatre and remain on the postnatal ward in line with postnatal visiting rules.
Postnatal Ward/Transitional Care Unit
One support person can attend between 9am-9pm. This should be the same person who supported during labour.
Attending Maternity Triage, Day Assessment Unit or Maternity Assessment Unit
The waiting areas are too small to accommodate social distancing so women may not bring a partner. The hospital aims to keep appointments to a short a time frame as possible to minimise time in these areas.
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