Fathers and birth partners will be able to stay overnight in hospital with their new families when a new initiative is launched next week.
Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust is extending visiting hours, giving fathers and birth partners the chance to stay with new mums after they have given birth to their babies.
From Monday, fathers and birth partners will be able to stay on Rowan Ward, the post natal ward at Hull Women and Children’s Hospital, from 9am to 11pm, with the option of staying overnight to support her to look after the baby overnight.
Other relatives and friends will also be able to visit between 1pm and 8pm.
Ward manager Angi Rymer said: “At a recent engagement event and also as a result of the national patient survey, women told us they felt they would benefit from more time spent with their partners in the hours after they have had their babies.
“In light of this feedback, we are extending the visiting hours with the option of an overnight stay so families can stay together.
“We will evaluate the new arrangements after three months and get feedback from both women and staff about this change.”
At the moment, birth partners can stay with the women from 9am to 9pm, with other family members and friends able to visit between 3pm and 4pm and again from 6pm to 7pm.
However, with visiting hours clashing with school run times, dinner, homework or bath and bed time for smaller children, the trust decided to introduce more family-friendly times.
Both the postnatal and antenatal wards will now have the same access to visiting and option for partners to stay overnight. Only person will be permitted to stay overnight, and during the extended visiting hours, only the woman’s own children will be allowed onto the ward to ensure good infection control procedures.
Partners who opt to stay overnight will be given a comfortable chair to rest in next to their partner’s bed and their baby’s cot, but will not be provided with food from the ward. They also will not be able to access the shower or bathroom facilities, which are provided for the sole use of women on the ward.
From 11pm, the ward will be closed and fathers or birth partners will be asked to stay in the room with their families to protect the safety and wellbeing of the women and babies on the ward.