Two birth partners will be allowed to accompany a woman in labour from next week as part of Hull’s hospitals plan to adapt to life with Covid-19.
Hull University Teaching Hospitals (HUTH) NHS Trust is easing restrictions put in place at the start of the pandemic as community infection rates continue to decline.
From Monday, April 18, women in active labour can now be accompanied by two birth partners on the Labour Ward at Hull Women and Children’s Hospital and at the Fatima Allam Birth Centre.
Lorraine Cooper, Head of Midwifery at HUTH, said rules introduced at the start of the pandemic to protect women and babies in our care and staff had been kept under constant review.
She said: “We thank families for their patience and understanding.
“Two birth partners can accompany women in labour from Monday thanks to the protection offered by the vaccine combined with the fall in infection rates.
“While the current variant does appear to be more infectious than previous variants, we now know it is causing less severe illness in the majority of people who contract the disease.
“Despite the introduction of two birth partners, we ask that all birth partners and visitors continue to wear masks and follow the instructions by staff on all of our wards.”
Despite the new arrangements, birth partners should not attempt to accompany a woman in labour if they are showing any symptoms of Covid-19 or are unwell for any other reason.
Visiting restrictions were eased in other parts of Hull’s hospitals outside maternity services in February to allow one family member or friend to visit a patient in most parts of Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital. Visiting slots of one hour must be booked in advance with the ward sister or charge nurse and the visitor must be the same person for the duration of the patient’s stay in hospital.
The named visitor must also carry out a lateral flow test to prevent people with the virus coming to hospital and spreading the potentially deadly virus to already sick and injured patients.
Rules were also amended for parents of children undergoing care and treatment on Acorn and Ward 130
Two parents or carers can now visit their child at the same time for up to an hour a day and a parent or carer staying on the ward with their child can swap with the child’s second parent or carer if required.
Further visits – such as those on compassionate grounds or following a life-changing diagnosis – will continue to be considered on an individual basis.
Patients with suspected or confirmed Covid-19 cannot have visitors unless in exceptional circumstances.
Restrictions remain for oncology wards in the Queen’s Centre and in some surgical wards because these patients are at much higher risk of becoming gravely ill if they catch Covid-19. Please check arrangements with ward staff before attempting to visit.
Anyone coming to hospital for any reason must also wear a face masks as soon as they enter any hospital building although the requirement to wear a face mask on hospital grounds has been lifted.
All visitors should wash their hands thoroughly when they walk into a ward, use hand sanitizer when they leave their relative’s bedside and wash their hands for at least 20 seconds as they leave the ward. People should also follow the two-metre social distancing rule on hospital grounds and in our buildings.