Birth partners accompanying mums-to-be as they deliver their baby are now being offered COVID-19 tests.
In a move to combat the virus, we’re asking every birth partner to take a self-administered Lateral Flow test on their arrival to the delivery suite.
Partners attending elective caesarean sections will also be offered the test.
It returns results within 30 minutes.
Rebecca Eggleston, deputy head of midwifery, said: “We have to do everything we can to keep our mums, babies and colleagues safe.
“Cases of COVID-19 are continuing to rise. That’s why we’re asking birth partners to help us by taking the test to make sure they are free from the virus before entering the delivery suites and wards.
“The Lateral Flow test isn’t very pleasant. It does involve sticking a swab up your nose. But it’s a small price to pay to ensure COVID-19 isn’t brought onto our wards.”
The Trust is stressing the test is voluntary. But we hope all birth partners will recognise the importance of reducing the chances of a COVID-19 outbreak within the maternity team.
One of the first birth partners to take the Lateral Flow test was Anthony Quinn. The 36-year-old dentist from Norton accompanied his wife Claire, also 36, to the delivery suite as their second baby gets ready to make an appearance.
Antony said: “It wasn’t fun but I didn’t mind doing the test. I want my wife, baby and the staff to be safe.”
Currently, only one partner is allowed to accompany any woman giving birth with the Trust. They must remain on the delivery ward until the baby is delivered.
All COVID-19 infection control policies are under constant review by the Trust.