This applies to antenatal and postnatal clinics, ultrasound appointments and attendance to maternity ward.
This is in line with recent changes to Government and Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology guidelines. For up to date guidance refer to the Royal Surrey Maternity Service Facebook pages: @royalsurreymaternity
Our maternity service is still available for all women to access, even in our current health crisis.
It is really important for the safety of you and your baby that you continue to access our antenatal, labour and postnatal services. Government advice for pregnant women is that they avoid non-essential contact currently, however, midwifery and medical care is absolutely essential so please access your appointments.
We have put additional measures in place to ensure the safety of all our pregnant women and babies – both those with or without potential Coronavirus symptoms (new continuous cough, high temperature or loss, or change, of smell or taste).
During the COVID-19 pandemic there may be times when workload and staffing mean that we cannot safely proceed with some or all of the planned elective caesareans for that day. The decision to postpone caesareans will be made on a daily basis by our senior staff.
While we will try to support maternal choice caesarean, there may be times when we cannot provide the service. We will prioritise all our elective work based on clinical need.
We realise that this uncertainty will be difficult and therefore we will encourage women to explore other ways we can support their birth, if caesarean is not possible, or if labour starts before a planned caesarean can occur.
Women will be offered a telephone consultation with one of our Obstetric Consultants to explore their individual needs.
If you are worried that you are not able to attend, as you are self-isolating or experiencing Coronavirus symptoms, please contact the following:
Research in to the effects of Covid-19 on pregnant women has found that, together with women who suffer from obesity, diabetes and other medical conditions, pregnant women from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds are at a higher risk of hospitalisation due to severe infection from Covid-19. This video from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists tells you what to do if you feel unwell or have any concerns.
If you have questions on how to be safe during your pregnancy speak to your midwife. Also, Royal Surrey has teamed up with Trusts in the locality to run a Live Q&A Event Thursday 1st October 2020 5.30pm - 6.30pm. Join via the Teams App or watch via the web with this link on the day.
The maternity unit is extremely busy at the moment and your help to keep our lines and staff free to care for women in immediate need is appreciated.
Please see useful videos below:
Further to the Prime Minister’s address to the UK outlining current measures in place to continue to manage the current coronavirus outbreak, the General Register Office have introduced new measures with immediate effect:
We have been advised that birth registration appointments have been suspended for 21 days from Tuesday 24 March.
This is a fast moving situation and advice is changing daily.
We are advising all new parents to monitor the Surrey County Council website where updated guidance will be recorded:
If you would like to have a conversation with a senior member of the midwifery team regarding care during your pregnancy, or the birth of your baby, you can contact a Professional Midwifery Advocate by leaving a message on the following number 01483571122 ext. 4706. A member of the team will then call you back and agree a time to meet and discuss your care.
Our staff will be able to make arrangements for you to be seen in hospital or at home if necessary.
We have safe arrangements in place to enable us to see women with potential Coronavirus symptoms.
If you are in labour, please call the Pregnancy Advice Line on: 03001235473.
When you call, please tell our staff if you or anyone in your household has a new continuous cough or high temperature.
We have safe arrangements in place to enable us to see women with potential Coronavirus symptoms separately from those without symptoms. You will be cared for in the maternity unit by a midwife.
We welcome two birth partners on the delivery suite. They will be given a wristband to enable us to identify them throughout your stay.
All of our midwives will be checking women for raised temperature when they arrive at your house to provide care.
We have put additional measures in place to ensure the safety of all our pregnant women and babies – both those with or without potential coronavirus symptoms (new continuous cough or high temperature).
If you have any symptoms or are self-isolating we will advise you by telephone of a slightly different pathway to access care, however, if we need to see you for the safety of you or your baby we will ensure you can receive the care you need.
Subsequent appointments may be conducted by telephone or in different locations during this pandemic period. If a face to face appointment is required, we will ask you to attend a safe area to provide care.
We currently have a 'drive thru' antenatal hub for women requiring blood pressure and urine tests as well as blood tests.
We have a wide variety of antenatal courses which you can sign up to online. Most of these will now be held online.
All women will receive a telephone call on the first day following discharge from hospital. On day five you will be contacted on the telephone by a midwife to arrange an appointment. This will be either in the home, maternity hub or in the hospital depending upon individual circumstances. On day 10 you will have a face to face appointment, this will be delayed if you are self-isolating or have symptoms of Coronavirus.
If you are advised to attend the hospital because you or your baby need further care, it is essential that you attend this appointment for important medical care. You could create further risk if you do not follow midwifery/medical advice.
All other contact from the hospital will be via telephone. This will include breastfeeding support.
Our Royal Surrey County Hospital Maternity Unit Facebook page has lots of support and advice for the postnatal period including breastfeeding advice.
Ultrasound scans and antenatal appointments
One partner from the same household is welcome to attend the 12 and 20 weeks ultrasound scan only. We ask that couples attending Outpatients one for a scan appointment, come in and wait in area five to support social distancing and vulnerable patients attending other clinics in the main waiting areas.
Free scan pictures will continue to be provided to those attending appointments alone. Unfortunately, we are not able to support you to film your scan. If your partner attends your scan but you have a subsequent appointment, please ensure they leave the department after your scan and do not wait for you in Outpatients one.
Please ensure you both wear a mask/face covering during your visit with us.
We ask that hot drinks are not brought into the department but you are welcome to bring a bottled cold drink. Cold water dispensers are available in the department.
We are now also allowing one partner to support women on the Antenatal Ward during the daytime, and one partner to support the woman on the Postnatal Ward during the daytime.
Birth partners in labour
Two birth partners are welcome to accompany any women while they are on the delivery suite - this is not dependant on stage of labour. While on the antenatal ward (St Catherine’s) or postnatal ward (Shere), one partner only may visit between 8am – 8pm for as long as you wish.
Outside of those hours we are very flexible and welcome partners to the ward overnight to give support to women who are in early labour/being induced.
Partners are required to wear masks throughout their visit, even in the side rooms. Unfortunately, for the safety of our women and staff, visitors will be asked to leave if they do not wear their masks, or repeatedly remove them or wear them incorrectly.
In order to protect our expectant mothers we will not be holding any face to face antenatal classes for the immediate future.
Where possible, these will be replaced with online courses so that you can still access this valuable information.
We will be contacting everyone who is currently booked onto a class to let you know what is happening with yours.
If your classes have been cancelled by an alternative provider and you wish to join our online course, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can get more advice about the Coronavirus infection and pregnancy from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
NHS England and NHS Improvement maternity leaflet - Coronavirus: Planning your birth
NHS England and NHS Improvement maternity leaflet - Coronavirus: Parent information for new born babies