Our current Women's Hospital / community visiting policy
All visiting for inpatients remains suspended with the following exceptions and only where the accompanying person/birth partner is not self-isolating or has symptoms of COVID-19
- One designated birth partner is able to accompany a labouring woman from arrival in our Maternity Triage Assessment Unit (in adherence with social distancing rules) and when in labour and receiving care in a single room in our Delivery Suite or Birth Centre, which includes going into theatre for caesarean section where the woman is not symptomatic of COVID19.
- Due to the restricted space on our wards and the continuing need to adhere to social distancing rules, we are, as yet, unable to accommodate birth partners during the beginning of an induction of labour. In such circumstances, the birth partner will be contacted once labour has started or when a transfer to a labour or birthing area has taken place into a single room.
- Birth partners are welcome to accompany a woman following the birth from our Delivery Suite/Birth Centre to our Postnatal wards for around an hour to help with settling into the ward setting.
Parents are able to visit separately with a maximum of the two same designated parents at any one time by arrangement with the Neonatal team within our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). This will be discussed on admission.
Unfortunately, it is not possible for children to visit at this time.
Unless you have been advised otherwise by one of our team, all outpatient appointments, both those taking place in the hospital and in the community, should be unaccompanied with only the patient attending. This includes attendances to our Maternity Day Assessment Unit, Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit and ultrasound scans.
Please do not bring children as this will result in your appointment being rearranged.
We understand that there will be exceptional circumstances in some cases. Please speak to the person or team leading a patient's care about what can be safely done. This must be by prior agreement.
Updated statement regarding Maternity visiting and accompanying of outpatient appointment/scans (15 January)
We welcomed the updated guidance released by NHS England on 15 December and have been working hard to support the safe re-introduction of a woman’s support partner throughout her whole maternity journey. We recognise and understand how important this support is to you and have done as much as we can within existing guidance to enable your chosen partner to be with you to provide support.
We have reviewed the policy for the attendance of women's support partners at every stage of the maternity journey, taking in to consideration also the increasing infection rates. The safety of women and staff is our priority and we cannot yet safely move to all women having a support partner present at all times. Please be assured that we are however, working towards implementing the guidance as quickly as possible. Some of the changes we need to make to the estate, equipment or staffing in the hospitals across our Birmingham and Solihull Local Maternity System will take longer than others, so it is likely that support partners will be welcomed in a phased approach to avoid further delay. We will communicate to you any changes to our policies as soon as we possibly can.
Meanwhile, unless you have been advised otherwise by one of our team, all outpatient appointments, both those taking place in the hospital and in the community, should be unaccompanied with only the woman attending. Any exceptional circumstances should be discussed with your Midwife to ensure we are able to agree these in advance of your attendance and provide written confirmation.
Please understand that we know how important this is to you and we continue to work together with all partners across our Local Maternity System to review attendance by support partners on a daily basis. Due to the changing nature of the situation please visit our website of your visit for the most up to date guidance.
What to do when you visit us (physical distancing, hygiene)
Please follow national guidelines and wear a face covering when visiting us. You can find information and guides to make your own at home here. We will also have a number of face coverings available and specially designed coverings from our Charity can be purchased either at our hospitals or online. Please also see this advice on masks infographic from Birmingham Health Partners [pdf] 333KB.
Wash your hands and dry them thoroughly when you arrive on site.
We’re making changes to how you travel around our sites. Please follow directions to your destination and signage to support physical distancing.
Metres matter – try to maintain two metres from other people whenever possible. If you can’t, keep as much space between you and the other person as you can.
Support regarding special circumstances
- Those who are exempt from wearing face masks can print the government cards to show this to staff or other patients
- If you or the patient you are supporting has Learning disabilities, visual or hearing impairment or autism/anxiety – please let us know in advance and we will try to support you.
- The LiveTranscribe App can be useful to download if you usually lip read – it allows live transcribing on your smartphone screen, many of our staff have downloaded it too.
- We have ‘Dora’ Electronic Interpreter devices and in-house Interpreters to interpret for you and your carer at our hospital sites.
Remember to check the latest update on visiting restrictions. These may differ between health care settings and hospitals to suit the patient type and to help us to ensure the recommended social distancing to keep you and our staff safe.