Birthing partners allowed back to pregnancy scans at Northampton General Hospital after more than a year
Maternity services will introduce lateral flow tests for patients and their partner
After more than a year of birthing partners not being allowed to attend pregnancy scans at Northampton General Hospital, the restriction is finally being lifted.
From Monday (April 12), pregnant patients will be allowed to have one other person with them at appointments, as long as they have both had a negative Covid-19 test.
Birthday partners will be allowed to attend both the 12 and 20 week scans, as well as any fetal medicine clinic appointment.
To ensure it is safe to do so, patients and their support person will need to complete a lateral flow test at home or access the on site testing facility to prove a negative Covid-19 result.
Restrictions on visiting elsewhere in the hospital are still in place and maternity visiting arrangements for pre and post birth remain the same.
Trish Ryan, Deputy Director of Midwifery said: “We would like to thank all of our patients and their support people for their patience as we have worked to develop a safe option to allow visiting.
“We had hoped to reintroduce visiting for pregnancy scans at the end of last year, however, due to the small space available in the rooms and poor ventilation we were unable to do this.
“Throughout the pandemic, our teams in radiology, estates and maternity have been working tirelessly to find an alternative solution.
“I am delighted that we now have a safe option available to allow a support person to visit during the scan appointment.
“We have introduced lateral flow testing which will provide rapid testing for our patients and their support person attending some of their maternity appointments.
“This means that we can ensure our pregnant patients can have a support person with them and that we can keep our other patients and staff safe from Covid-19.
“We look forward to being able to welcome some of our visitors back soon to these special appointments.”
If a patient does not want to bring a support person with them, they can attend their appointment as normal without needing to be tested. If a support person declines a test, they will be unable to attend.
Any at-home test should be taken as close to the appointment time as possible and both the patient and partner will need to take their test cartridge or result to the appointment.
If using the hospital’s onsite test facility, patients and their support person will need to arrive at the test centre location 45 minutes before their appointment time to allow time for the tests to be undertaken.
Regardless of the new testing rules, face coverings must be worn at all times and social distancing guidelines should be adhered to.
Find out more about at-home lateral flow testing kits on the Government website.
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