From Tuesday 19 January 2021, pregnant women who feel particularly anxious about attending scans and antenatal appointments alone can be accompanied by one person from the same household or support bubble.
This applies to scans and appointments taking place at Furness General Hospital in Barrow, Helme Chase Maternity Unit at Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal, and the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.
Tamsin Cripps, Acting Head of Midwifery, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT), said: “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, along with other maternity services across the country, we had to make the difficult decision to not allow partners to attend scans and antenatal appointments.
“While we continue to limit the number of people visiting our clinics, we have also listened to feedback from local mums-to-be and their families and understand that for some pregnant women, attending appointments or scans alone can be incredibly difficult.
“We would like to reassure those who feel particularly anxious and unable to attend an appointment alone that, if needed, one support person from the same household or support bubble can accompany you during your appointment.
“We do still need to keep the numbers of people coming into hospital to an absolute minimum, and encourage pregnant women to attend appointments and scans alone whenever possible.”
All pregnant women and their support person will be required to wear face masks, use hand sanitiser regularly and keep a safe distance from other people at all times when attending scans and appointments. Children are not permitted to attend any antenatal scans or appointments.
If our waiting areas become busy, you might be asked to return for your appointment at a later time or to wait in a different area.
Tamsin concluded: “The health and safety of our mums-to-be, their families and our staff remains our priority, and we will continue to review our policies regularly in line with local, regional and national guidance. Any updates will be shared on our website and Maternity app.
“We would again like to thank all of our new and expectant mums and their families for their continued support and understanding during these extremely difficult circumstances.”
Women and partners are reminded not to attend scans or appointments if they or anyone in their household or support person’s household has symptoms of COVID-19:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
In these circumstances, women are asked to contact the maternity teams on the numbers below to rearrange their appointment:
- Barrow: 01229 870870 (Monday – Friday, 9am–4.30pm)
- Lancaster: 01524 583860 (Monday – Friday, 9am–4.30pm)
- Kendal: 01539 795375 (Monday – Friday, 9am–4.30pm)
Pregnant women, and their partner or support person, will be screened for COVID-19 upon admission to our maternity units as an inpatient. Screening will not be offered to those attending antenatal appointments or scans.
Restrictions for during and after labour remain unchanged at the Trust, with one named birthing partner being able to attend the labour and birth, including induction. However, they are still not able to stay overnight following the birth or visit subsequently.