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Suspended visiting on all general wards

Suspended visiting on all general wards
9th September 2020

Please note that from 12 noon on Tuesday 17th March we are suspending visiting on all our general wards.

Exceptions to this are maternity, children’s areas and neonatal, where visiting is restricted to parents and birth partners only.

Where patients have dementia or learning disabilities, or are end of life, visiting will be agreed on an individual basis so please discuss this with the nurse in charge.

We are sure you will understand this is to protect our patients and staff and thank you for your support and co-operation.

During our restriction on visiting, our  volunteers have offered to take any parcels to your loved ones. Drop them off, clearly labelled, at main reception at Russells Hall Hospital and they will deliver them to the ward for you.

Home visits from the Healthy Pregnancy Support Service (HPSS) workers has paused.

Help is still available, virtually via telephone or video call.

If a pregnant woman smokes, or has a BMI over 26 , please refer her to the HPSS service on 01384 244358, for one to one support.

Changes to maternity services at The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust due to COVID-19

Latest: 9th September 2020

Changes to visiting for birthing partners at Russells Hall Hospital will come into effect on Thursday 10th September.

It follows risk assessments of the maternity unit and new guidance from NHS England.

One birth partner may now attend the triage department. Birth partners may be asked to wait outside the unit until the midwife or doctor is ready to see them if the waiting room becomes busy or crowded. This will allow social distancing in the unit for women.

Birth partners may now attend while women are being induced between the hours of 9am and 10pm.

For women having elective caesarean sections, birth partners can now be present from when the woman arrives at hospital, right up until she is taken to the postnatal ward area after she had had her baby. They can then visit on the ward as per ward visiting times. This varies depending on which bed the woman is in and the midwife will provide this information.

There is no change during labour, with one birthing partner able to attend.

All visitors to the maternity unit will be asked to have their temperature taken on admission; contact details are recorded and visitors requested to wear a mask for the duration of their visit. Birth partners should remain within their rooms and avoid leaving the department unless they are returning home. They are asked to maintain good hand hygiene whilst visiting and use the hand gel dispensers frequently.

Birth partners should not attend the unit if they have symptoms of COVID-19, or have received a positive result to COVID-19 testing within 10 days of attendance at the maternity unit.  Anyone that has been advised to self-isolate following contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case must also not attend the unit.

We are currently reviewing the capacity of the scan department and antenatal clinic and will provide an update to whether partners are able to attend these appointments over the coming days.

Please read a letter to maternity service users here regarding changes to maternity service provision at The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust as a result of COVID-19.

We understand that this may be a difficult and anxious time, and the staff within the maternity unit are here to provide support and answer any of your queries.

Information telephone line

If you have any questions or concerns related to your pregnancy and/or COVID-19, we have established an information hotline staffed daily by the community midwives Monday to Friday, 10am – 3pm. Please call 01384 244574.

Please continue to attend antenatal appointments unless advised otherwise

However, if you have a temperature over 37.8 or a new, persistent cough, please contact your community midwife on 01384 244358 or the antenatal clinic on 01384 244351. Please note, your appointment may be delayed until after your period of self-isolation is complete.

Temporary changes to our maternity services

As a nation, we have been asked to follow government instructions on social isolation. These rules apply to our staff as well as to all those we care for, so, alongside other NHS organisations across the country, we have implemented some temporary changes to our maternity services.

These changes have been made so we can continue to provide the safest, most effective and compassionate care to everyone who needs it during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

  • We are asking that women attend their antenatal or scanning appointments alone. This includes all outpatient and clinic visits.

This will stop the overcrowding in our waiting areas and consultation rooms.  This will also reduce the number of people that pregnant women and staff are in contact with.

  • All women must wash their hands thoroughly before and after all hospital visits and/or use hand sanitiser and will be asked to wear a surgical mask which will be provided.

Questions and answers

I’ve just found out I’m pregnant.  What should I do?

Congratulations on your pregnancy!

Please call your GP surgery and inform them. The midwife will then contact you to make an appointment for a telephone booking consultation. During this appointment, you will be asked lots of questions regarding your medical history and details of previous pregnancies. You will be referred to a consultant if necessary at this time.

You will then receive an appointment to attend for a dating scan. At this appointment, your blood pressure will be taken, and we will ask you to provide a mid-stream urine sample. You will also have bloods taken, that will have been discussed with you during your booking appointment. You will be given your hand held notes.

Where will my appointments take place?

All antenatal clinic and scanning appointments will take place in the usual location at Russells Hall Hospital.

You will be informed, by your midwife, of the location of all other appointments. We are unable to utilise some GP surgeries, therefore you may be asked to attend Corbett Hospital in Stourbridge, or an alternative location.

What about my scans?

We are currently providing the routine number of scans. We are asking that women attend their scanning appointments alone.

This will stop the overcrowding in our waiting and consultation room. This will also reduce the number of people that pregnancy women and staff are in contact with

Can I bring someone with me to my scan?

We recognise that seeing your new baby on a scan is a really exciting experience. However, at this time we are asking that women attend alone. This will stop the overcrowding in our waiting and consultation room. This will also reduce the number of people that pregnant women and staff are in contact with.

Do I have to pay for scan pictures?

You will be able to have one free picture, any additional ones must be paid for

Have all antenatal classes been cancelled? Is there an alternative?

In order to maintain social distancing in line with government recommendations, we have suspended all of our face to face antenatal classes. This is to protect you, your baby and the midwives. Breast feeding sessions can be viewed via the Trust website here.

Free access to some useful antenatal sessions can be found via the following website.

We are working to provide some additional virtual antenatal education with content specific to care at Russells Hall Hospital.

I am concerned about my baby’s movements? What should I do?

Please do not hesitate to call either the pregnancy day assessment unit or triage and a member of the team will advise you of the next steps appropriate to your stage of pregnancy.

Pregnancy day assessment: 01384 456111 ext 3586.

Open Monday to Friday, 8am – 7pm and Saturday 10am – 2pm.

Triage: 01384 456111 ext. 3053

Open every day, 24 hours a day.

Maternity unit visiting times

When you are in labour, you can be accompanied by one birthing partner and there cannot be any swapping of this person. If you have a planned caesarean section, you will still be able to be accompanied by your birth partner.

After your baby is born, we will endeavour to facilitate an early transfer home if both you and your baby are well. However, if you do have to remain in hospital, visiting times have reduced to one hour each day between 3pm and 4pm for birth partners only. Again, this has been done to reduce the number of people that you, your baby and staff come into contact with whilst in hospital.

Further changes to our services may be necessary in the coming weeks and we will update this information at that time.

Thank you for using our services responsibly and for following the Government instructions on social isolation.

Information for New Parents

Information leaflets for parents of newborns can be found below:

We thank you for your understanding during these uncertain times.