COVID-19 information and important updates to services
Help us protect our vulnerable patients by ensuring you wash your hands, wear a face mask and maintain social distancing. Keep everyone safe: hands, face, space.
All those who are pregnant in the UK and aged over 18 are being offered the COVID-19 vaccination. Vaccination is recommended in pregnancy, but the decision to have the vaccine is your choice.
To help you decide the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and The Royal College of Midwives have developed an information sheet and decision aid (updated October 2021): https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/guidelines/2021-02-24-combined-info-sheet-and-decision-aid.pdf
Further information and resources about coronavirus and pregnancy can be found here: https://padlet.com/chester_classes/coronavirus
Got Covid symptoms?
It remains important that anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms or has come into contact with someone who has coronavirus, should not visit our maternity unit. Those who are pregnant are exempt from this and should attend hospital if required whilst also informing maternity triage if they have COVID-19 symptoms or have come into contact with someone who has tested positive.
Anyone who does not have symptoms can use a rapid lateral flow test at home to check for COVID-19. You can get a pack of seven rapid tests sent to your home via the Government website or collect up to two packs from a local pharmacy or test site. If you do tests at home, you'll need to report your results online or on the phone.
If you are pregnant and test positive for COVID-19, please contact your GP to be referred to your local NHS ‘Pulse Oximetry at Home’ service. If your GP surgery is closed, please contact a GP by calling 111 and ask to be referred to the local ‘Pulse Oximetry at Home’ service. The ‘Pulse Oximetry at Home’ service will provide you with a pulse oximeter device, advice, and support in monitoring your blood oxygen levels for 2 weeks.
Antenatal appointments/scans in hospital
Partners or support people attending antenatal appointments and scans are required to test at home within 24 hours of the appointment. The result will need to be reported online or on the phone and evidence brought to the appointment. They will be asked to wait outside the building until they are called in. This is to manage the volume of people in the building. Anyone who has a positive test result will be advised what to do next. This test result will be valid for three days. Any appointments after that time will require another test.
Antenatal appointments in community settings
Partners/support people may now attend antenatal appointments in a community setting. They are required to test at home within 24 hours of the appointment, report the result online or on the phone and bring evidence of the result to the appointment. They will be asked to wait outside the building until you are called in.
Two birthing partners can be present for labour. If they have not tested at home, they will be offered a COVID-19 test on arrival. Any support partners who attend the triage department and are in the department for four hours or more will also be offered a COVID-19 test.
Home test results need to be reported online or on the phone and evidence brought to the labour ward. This test result will be valid for three days. Any admissions after that time will require another test.
Primary birthing partners can visit from 9am to 7pm and second birthing partners can visit from 12noon to 3pm. Birth partners will only need to have a further COVID-19 test if they require access for more than three days. If an unplanned visit is needed and they are unable to test at home, birth partners should speak to a member of staff on the ward so a test can be arranged.
Any support partners who test positive will be advised to go home and self-isolate in accordance with government guidance. If you need to speak to a member of staff before your visit, please contact the relevant department:
Antenatal Clinic: 01244 365106
Labour Ward: 01244 365028
Postnatal Ward: 01244 365178
Community Office: 01244 365166
Thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding.