EXPECTING mothers can now be joined by a partner when they give birth at Royal Berkshire Hospital.
As of yesterday, one birth partner can now support a woman during labour, a caesarean section and induction of labour.
But they must be well, without symptoms of coronavirus and not tested positive for the virus in the last seven days. And the hospital is advising people to travel there by car or taxi.
Hospital visitors must wear a face covering or mask, use hand sanitiser when they arrive and leave the ward and stay two metres away from healthcare staff wherever possible.
Visitors are also asked to wash their hands with soap and water regularly during their stay. And they should bring plenty of food and drink for the duration of their stay.
For help with arranging transport to the hospital, call the Patient Relations team for advice on 0118 322 8338.
After birth, some women may need to stay on the postnatal ward. The birthing partner or advocate will then need to follow the visiting guidance.
Induction of Labour (Marsh ward)
- Open for one birth partner to stay with the woman during the induction process
- All women can be visited by their birth partner between 1pm-2pm, and 7pm-8pm.
- The 28-bed ward has been split and colour coded at the bedside
- Yellow Bed visiting times: 1pm-2pm and 5pm-6pm
- Green Bed visiting times: 3pm-4pm and 7pm-8pm
No visiting will be allowed during the morning, or between 2pm-3pm and 6pm-7pm on any day, or after 9pm in the evening.
Only one visitor is permitted during the admission and must be the designated birth partner. This person cannot be changed and no children are allowed in the ward. There is also no visiting on the day of discharge.
All visitors must
- Wear face masks (these will be provided if the named birth partner does not have their own)
- Use hand gel
- Wash hands with soap and water before holding or feeding baby and after nappy changes
- Remain at the bedside, except for hand hygiene purposes. If a member of staff is needed, the call bell should be used
Staff on the ward will ring a bell to announce the end of each visiting session and all visitors are requested to leave promptly.
In exceptional circumstances, such as women with communication issues or have undergone a bereavement, decisions will be made on visiting either in advance or by the maternity coordinator.
Scan and antenatal clinics
If mothers have an appointment for a scan or antenatal clinic at either West Berkshire Community Hospital or at the RBH, they can attend with the named birth partner.
But if the appointment is with a midwife in a community setting, such as a children’s clinic or GP, then they must attend on their own, and ask their birth partner to wait outside or in the car.