Current visiting times

After suspending visiting earlier in the year, we are now able to offer limited visiting to some wards at the discretion of the nurse in-charge.”

Read more on visiting times...


Messages for loved ones and keeping in touch

We recognise the impact that a long stay in hospital can have on families and the importance of maintaining strong communication.  Our ward staff are keeping in touch with patients’ next of kin directly and our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) can help pass on personal messages from family and friends.

Read more information about messages for loved ones…

Current visiting times

After suspending visiting earlier in the year, we are now able to offer limited visiting to some wards at the discretion of the nurse in-charge.”

Read more on visiting times...


Messages for loved ones and keeping in touch

We recognise the impact that a long stay in hospital can have on families and the importance of maintaining strong communication.  Our ward staff are keeping in touch with patients’ next of kin directly and our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) can help pass on personal messages from family and friends.

Read more information about messages for loved ones…

During your stay in hospital you will meet a number of different members of staff.  All members of staff wear name badges, but if you are not sure who someone is or what they do, please feel free to ask them to introduce themselves and explain what they do. 

If you have any questions about your treatment, please ask a doctor or a nurse.

There are lots of opportunities for you to get involved with the Trust, from volunteering to attending our public meetings, our Annual General Meeting or our hospital open day which is held every year.

COVID-19 and Pregnancy

Last updated: 02 August 2021

Our maternity department remains open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for pregnant women and mums who have recently given birth. Ensuring that we continue to provide a positive and safe environment for you to have your baby is our absolute priority. We continue to take all necessary precautions to help reduce the risk and minimise the spread of COVID-19.

We are following all national guidance relating to COVID-19, and are responding swiftly to any new guidance as it emerges.

Below are some frequently asked questions we receive regularly from expectant families and those with new born babies.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please use the numbers you have been given on your notes.

Thank you for your continued understanding during this difficult time.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, before arriving at the maternity unit, all admissions will be asked the following screening questions:

  • Do you have a new persistent cough that has developed within the last seven days?
  • Do you have/ had a temperature?
  • Have you experienced any loss or change to your sense of smell or taste?
  • Do you think you may have coronavirus?
  • Have you had a swab to test for coronavirus
  • Are you or any members of your family self isolating due to coronavirus symptoms?

If you answer yes to any of the questions we will initiate the most recent maternity plan to keep you, your baby, the other women in our care and our staff safe. You will be advised where you will need to go within the maternity department.

If your birth partner can answer yes to any of the questions we would advise that they don’t come into the unit and that you bring another nominated birth partner with you who has been socially isolating to minimise risks related to COVID-19.

Yes. It is important that you continue to attend your scheduled routine care when you are well, and you let us know if you test positive for COVID-19.

Maternity care is essential and has been developed over many years to reduce complications in mothers and babies. There is a potential risk of harm to you and your baby if you don’t attend your appointments, even in the context of coronavirus.

If you are well, you should be able to attend your antenatal care as normal. If you have symptoms of possible coronavirus infection, you should arrange to have a PCR test done to confirm the presence of the virus. If you test positive, please contact the maternity triage bleep on 02392286000 and ask for Bleep 2235 who will ask you some questions to assess your risk of venous thromboembolism VTE. She will also arrange for someone to contact you daily during your 10 days isolation. Also contact your community midwife to postpone routine visits until after the isolation period is over.

It is particularly important that you help your maternity team take care of you. If you have had an appointment cancelled or delayed and are not sure of your next contact with your maternity team, please let them know by using the contact numbers given to you.

The following practical advice may be helpful:

  • If you are well your booking appointment will be conducted in person with a midwife. And you will have your routine blood tests taken.
  • If you feel unwell or have been asked to self-isolate please call whoever it is you have your appointment with, you may still need to attend, but the appointment may change. Some appointments may be conducted on the telephone provided there is a reasonable expectation that observations, such as blood pressure or other tests are not needed.
  • The recommendation is that your bump will be measured from around 26-28 weeks of pregnancy unless you are in the recommended 10 day self-isolation period.
  • Your Midwife will make sure you are aware of you next appointment each time she is in contact with you.
  • If you are attending more regularly in pregnancy, then your maternity team will be in touch with plans. This might include monitoring your own blood pressure at home.
  • If you miss an appointment and haven’t heard from your maternity team, please contact them to rearrange the appointment.

Whatever your personal situation please consider the following:

  • If you have any concerns, you will still be able to contact your maternity team but please note they may take longer to get back to you
  • If you have an urgent problem related to your pregnancy but not related to coronavirus, get in touch using the same emergency contact details you already have.
  • If you have symptoms suggestive of coronavirus arrange to have a PCR test done and contact your maternity services if it is positive and they will arrange the right place and time to come for your visits. You should not attend a routine clinic.
  • You will be asked to attend your ante natal appointments alone, but you can have one person with you for scans. For your appointments after you have had your baby it will just be yourself and your baby to attend. This is to aid infection control and help keep staff safe from transmission.

 

Should I attend my post natal appointments (After the baby has been born)

The midwife responsible for planning your care and that of your baby post birth will arrange when we need to see you both in person. It is important that you keep these appointments so that we can assess both you and your baby’s wellbeing.

If for any reason you are unwell or a member of you family is unwell with corona virus symptoms we would ask that you call the midwife on the number you will have been given to discuss the appointment and when we should see you.

All women attending the maternity unit or any of the centres will be asked screening questions.

Partners can now attend all your scan appointments. They will be asked to wear a face mask. Once the scan is over they will be asked to wait outside the hospital until the rest of your appointment has finished. You will be asked to attend all other appointments on your own. Please ensure you wear a face mask and bring your notes with you.

Women and partners attending any of our maternity services (including routine maternity appointments) are encouraged to carry out regular lateral flow tests. It is recommended that you test yourselves twice a week and 24 hours prior to any routine maternity appointment or attendance to the unit.
 
Tests can be obtained from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing/regular-rapid-coronavirus-tests-if-you-do-not-have-symptoms/. All testing needs to be recorded on the government database and the link can be found within the kit.
 
If you or your partner have a positive result, please immediately self-isolate, do not attend your maternity appointment and contact the maternity triage bleep for advice and support.
 
Please call 02392 286000 and ask for the maternity triage bleep on 2235.
 
We will continue to test every woman who is admitted to the hospital as an emergency or admitted in labour so please do not delay attending maternity.
 

Two birthing partners will be admitted to support women during their labour.

One of your birth partners will be able to attend the maternity assessment unit with you, when you come in for a labour assessment. They will be asked to wear a face mask and wait in the waiting area whilst you are taken through for your initial triage assessment. For other appointments in the maternity assessment unit you will be asked to attend on your own.

Once it has been confirmed you are in established labour your other birth partner can join you.

Your birth partners cannot swap with anyone else and they will need to remain with you. It is advised that they bring drinks and snacks in  with them. They will be able to get tea and coffee.

 

 

You can find out more about the process for elective caesarean sections here.

Unfortunately if your caesarean section is an emergency or is being done under a general anaesthetic, your partner will not be able to go into theatre with you. Please also see the advice sheet for elective lower (uterine) segment Caesarean section (LSCS).

At present, no other children (including siblings) are allowed on the unit. This is to help protect you, the person accompanying you, the other women and babies in our care and our staff from the potential threat of COVID-19.

We are facilitating water births for women who have no symptoms of coronavirus as per the RCOG guidance.

We are facilitating homebirths for women who have no symptoms or there are no known cases of coronavirus in the household. Your named midwife will discuss your request to have your baby at home and complete a risk assessment with you prior to your due date. This will normally take place at one of your face to face appointments.

Community births are still being supported in our free-standing midwifery unit at the Portsmouth Maternity Centre and we have the expertise and equipment to support a low risk birth on our main labour ward.

Portsmouth Maternity Centre and The Mary Rose Unit/B5 are still open for births. You can also have a midwifery led birth on B8 at QA Hospital. 

Unfortunately all women are only allowed one person to accompany them at this time, unless they are in labour and then they can have two birth partners with them.

All pregnant women are advised to take a 10 microgram vitamin D supplement throughout their pregnancy especially the following: women low in vitamin D may be more vulnerable to coronavirus so women with darker skin or those who always cover their skin when outside may be at particular risk of vitamin D insufficiency.

 

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Queen Alexandra Hospital,
Cosham,
Portsmouth,
PO6 3LY

© 2021, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust