Covid-19 maternity updates
Our maternity service arrangements are under continual review during the pandemic and we’re taking all necessary precautions and following the latest guidance to ensure your safety and the safety of our staff.
Latest updates will be added further down this page.
If you have any concerns or questions about our guidance please contact us on any of the numbers below:
- Fetal assessment Unit: 01922 656249
- Maternity triage: 01922 656967
- Delivery suite: 01922 656283/ 656246
- Midwife-led unit: 01922 605420
- Community midwife office 01922 656248 (1-4)
- Maternity helpline Mon – Fri 9-5: 01922 605426
Maternity visiting during Covid-19 pandemic times
Hello to all our mums or mums to be and their birth partners.
We here at the Walsall maternity service appreciate and understand that this may be a worrying time for you all during this Covid-19 Pandemic period. Our aim is to strive to ensure your birth is safe and enjoyable as much as possible during these worrying times. The safety of our mothers/babies, birth partners, and our staff remains our priority at all times.
Please help us keep everyone safe by following our visiting guidance whilst you are in hospital. The measures described help us all maintain social distancing as far as possible and reduce the risk of spreading infection for all of us.
As part of your hospital admission you will be asked to undertake a mouth/nasal swab for COVID19.
The midwifery team will arrange this for you. If you have any concerns please ask us.
We ask our mother and partners in maternity to wear a mask at all times in all areas. If you do remove your masks please put your masks on when any member of the team is present in your room or providing any care or having any discussions with you. Our mums to be labour are an exception to this.
If there is a reason that your birth partner cannot wear a face mask /covering they will not be allowed to come onto the delivery suite or in the ward areas. In these cases we ask that you arrange an alternative birth partner so you can be supported during your hospital stay with us.
At present we are restricting visiting to only a designated named birth partner, this is to reduce any additional risk to all our mothers/babies and staff.
We ask our mothers/mums-to-be to please attend your antenatal appointments in hospital alone. We are currently risk assessing scan rooms to make it safer for both our mums, partners and staff. Your partner can of course drop you off and then will be asked to wait ideally in your car or outside the hospital whilst you are assessed.
Fetal Assessment Unit
We ask mothers/mums to be to attend the fetal assessment unit alone. Your partner can of course drop you off and then will be asked to wait ideally in your car or outside the hospital whilst you are assessed.
We ask mothers/mums to be to attend Maternity triage alone. Your partner can of course drop you off and then will be asked to wait ideally in your car or outside triage whilst you are assessed.
Induction of labour: If you are admitted to Delivery suite for your induction of labour your named birth partner can accompany you. Your birth partner must return home by 10pm and can return either when you are in labour or during the hours of 10am and 10pm.
For birth: Your named birth partner will of course be welcomed to stay with you throughout your stay in the delivery room for the birth of your baby. When you are transferred to the ward your named birth partner will be able to go to the ward with you (unless after 10pm).
Your named birth partner will be welcomed onto the ward between the hours of 10am and 10pm. We have a bathroom/toilet and a hot drinks machine on ward 25 (Primrose ward) for you and your birth partners to use whilst they are with you. Please ask the team on the wards to show you where these are. These are provided to reduce the number of times that you and your named birth partner need to leave the ward. Your birth partner will need to provide their own food or use the restaurant/shop facilities in the hospital.
Reducing the number of times that you and your partner leave the ward will reduce your exposure to any possible infection and help in keeping us all safe.
Midwifery-Led Unit (MLU)
When you arrive at the MLU for the birth of your baby we welcome your named birth partner to remain with you as your birth support.
If attending the MLU for an appointment following the birth of your baby we ask that only mums and babies attend, your partner can of course drop you off but we request that they wait outside the MLU for you and your baby.
We do appreciate that there may be some situations when you will need the support of your named birth partner we will be happy to discuss this with you and will strive to accommodate when at all possible. Please speak to your Midwife about this.
Please note that we require named birth partners to wear a mask at all times that they are in the Maternity unit. They will be asked to leave the ward if they do not wish to wear a mask.
Making our Maternity Services as safe as possible for all
Mums-to-be will be aware of the national efforts being made to ensure women are supported by a partner, relative or friend throughout their pregnancy and birth during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust recognises how important this is to the women and families it supports across the borough and has been working hard to keep everyone as safe as possible and maintain vital services throughout this challenging time.
Last autumn, birth partners were able to start attending 20 week scans with mums-to-be at Walsall Manor Hospital and the trust appreciates how much of a difference this has made at this anxious time.
Regrettably, the trust is now having to temporarily suspend these arrangements as it reviews all processes in both antenatal care and across maternity services to ensure that everyone who comes into the hospital site is kept as safe as possible whilst also taking care of its own staff who have been working tirelessly throughout the pandemic.
Carla Jones-Charles, the trust’s Divisional Director of Midwifery, Gynaecology and Sexual Health and Alan Deacon,Divisional Director of Clinical Support Services, said: “We want to be able to ensure that women have the support they need in pregnancy and birth and not just at their 20 week scans which is why we have taken this difficult, but temporary, decision to review all arrangements.
“We absolutely understand how disappointing this will be; we know this is an extremely anxious time for mums-to-be and our hearts go out to them. But we have to prioritise their safety above everything else. We can’t ignore the high incidence of Covid-19 infection in the local population and as a responsible organisation have to review and update all of our risk assessments currently in place.
“We want to be able to welcome supporting partners, family or friends in as soon as we can and are planning to introduce, as soon as possible, lateral flow testing so that we can be assured that only Covid-negative individuals are attending our Antenatal Clinic appointments.
“We also have a responsibility to our own staff and need to protect them as much as we can too.
“This is very much a temporary restriction. All of us in Maternity Services want women to know that we are doing all we can, as quickly as we can, to be able to change things for them.”
It is so important that women attend their antenatal appointments so we can check that all is well with baby as well as mums-to-be. Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust wants women to continue to use its maternity services as usual, particularly if they are worried about:
- Feeling unwell
- Reduced baby movements/Change in baby movements
Women who have any concerns regarding being unwell, reduction in their baby’s movements, bleeding or pain at any time should contact
A Maternity Advice Line has also been set up if women need to speak with a midwife for general advice and are unable to contact their Community Midwife. This line is open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday and women should contact 01922 605426.