Important information about COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Information last updated: 03 April 2020, 09.58am

Latest information on hospital visiting

As a responsible Trust, we cannot compromise the safety of staff and patients.

In order to minimise the risk of COVID-19 infection to patients and to staff, the Trust has taken the difficult but necessary decision to stop hospital visits.

Visits will only be permitted for the following:

  • One parent/carer per child for appointments, accident and emergency and visits
  • Parents only at the Neonatal Unit
  • One birthing partner

We recognise there will be exceptional circumstances (end-of-life for example). Please speak to the ward matron in these instances, or if you are unsure.

Ward phone directory

Car parking costs suspended

All patient car parking fees suspended for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust

From Wednesday 1 April, all parking fees at University Hospital of North Tees and University Hospital of Hartlepool will be suspended for all patients.

This is to ease pressure during the COVID-19 pandemic for an initial phase of three months.

Childrens Guide to Coronavirus

A helpful guide has been created for Children, to support them through this extraordinary time and help explain what Covid-19 and the signs to look out for.

You can view and dowload the guide here

Breast screening appointments

Due to the current situation with Coronavirus (COVID-19) we will not be sending out any breast screening appointments until further notice. If you already have an appointment for a screening mammogram, this may be cancelled and the unit will contact you either by telephone or post. Please do not telephone the Breast Unit for a new appointment, we will send you a new appointment in the post once the service resumes. Please be breast aware and if you have a breast concern please contact your GP.

Information for parents on Infant Feeding

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust promotes supports and encourages all women to breastfeed their babies. We recognise the significant positive effect that breastfeeding has upon child and maternal health and the important role all employees play in supplying effective information and advice for mothers.

In light of the current COVID 19 outbreak we wish to share with all expectant and new parents an adapted statement from The UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative and Public Health England regarding best practice in infant feeding which the Trust will follow.

Please be aware that practitioners will follow latest updates from the UK governments and the World Health Organization (WHO) as these could change as more information becomes available.


To facilitate breastfeeding, mothers and babies will be enabled to stay together as much as possible, to have skin-to-skin contact, to feed their baby responsively and to have access to ongoing support when this is needed.

When mothers are partially breastfeeding, they will be encouraged to maximise the amount of breastmilk they are able to give or, if they choose, to be supported to return to full breastfeeding. If you are considering stopping breastfeeding, it is worth having a conversation about the value of continuing during the Covid-19 outbreak with your Midwife or Health visitor.

Public Health England (PHE) guidance – If you are breastfeeding while infected

There is currently no clinical evidence to suggest that the virus can be transmitted through breastmilk. Infection can be spread to the baby in the same way as to anyone in close contact with you. The benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any potential risks of transmission of the virus through breastmilk or by being in close contact with your child, however, this will be an individual decision and can be discussed with your Midwife or Health Visitor by telephone. If you wish to breastfeed, take precautions to limit the potential spread of COVID-19 to the baby by:

  • Hand washing before touching the baby, breast pump or bottles
  • Avoiding coughing or sneezing on the baby while feeding at the breast
  • Cleaning breast pumps as recommended by the manufacturer after each use
  • Considering asking someone who is well to feed expressed milk to the baby
  • If you are feeding with formula or expressed milk, sterilise the equipment carefully before each use. You should not share bottles or a breast pump with someone else.

You can find more information on the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Public Health England websites.

COVID-19 Statement for Maternity Patients

COVID-19 Maternity Information
We would like to reassure pregnant women that safety is our key priority, and we are following the guidance published by the Royal Colleges.

A reminder that anyone with a:

Please follow advice on these websites, as this will reflect national evidence and the evolving situation. For further information please visit

  • If you have concerns with your pregnancy, please contact the Advice line: 01642 624223/624376

March 2020 – COVID-19 New visiting information:

  • For anyone attending a planned antenatal appointment OR attending the maternity assessment unit (MAU): No visitor is permitted to attend with you. No children will be allowed to attend. Please adhere to government social distancing guidance whilst in the waiting area.
  • Delivery suite: one birthing partner only. You will not be allowed to swap with another birthing partner. Please bring plenty refreshments for your birthing partner as they will not be permitted to leave the unit for the duration
  • Antenatal Patients (Ward 22): No visitors
  • Postnatal Patients (Ward 22): Birthing partner only, 10 am to 8pm. Please note partners will no longer be permitted to stay over night

Community Midwifery Antenatal appointments and Postnatal Care:

We will be performing some of your care by telephone consultation to reduce face to face contact to comply with the Governments social distancing and Self-isolation guidance. Your Community Midwifery Teams will contact you before your scheduled antenatal appointments and following delivery to plan your care. Your care will be provided by either a face to face appointment or telephone consultation following the initial telephone triage call by your community midwife.

Temporary Service Suspension:

  • Due to the Government guidance of social distancing and self-isolation, we have temporarily suspended all parent education and Breast feeding workshops.
  • The Maternity Assessment Unit at Hartlepool will be providing a reduced service, opening, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 9am to 5 pm. Women concerned about their pregnancy outside of these days should contact the Advice line: 01642 624223/624376

Home Birth:
Due to the current pressure regarding COVID-19 North Tees and Hartlepool Foundation Trust are currently suspending the provision of the home birth service from1 April 2020 in order to ensure that safety of both our staff and the women and families within our care. This will be reviewed regularly and the home birth service reinstated as soon as possible.

Thank you from your maternity team for your support at this challenging time

Who is classed as a key worker

The Government has released new guidance on who is classed as a Key Worker. If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for education provision. Key Workers list

Stay at home advice

The Trust would like to remind the public of Government advice. People should not come in to their hospital or GP practice and should stay home if they have a new continuous cough or a high temperature.


  • If you have any symptoms, stay at home for seven days
  • If you live with other people, you should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms
  • If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to arrange for them to stay with friends or family for 14 days
  • If you have to stay at home together, try to keep 2 metres (3 steps) away from each other
  • Avoid using shared spaces, such as kitchens or bathrooms, at the same time as each other
  • Open windows in shared spaces if you can
  • Clean a shared bathroom each time you use it, for example by wiping the surfaces you have touched
  • Use a dishwasher if you have one – if you do not have one, use washing-up liquid and warm water and dry everything thoroughly


  • Do not share a bed, if possible
  • Do not share towels, including hand towels and tea towels

Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after seven days.

Use the 111 coronavirus service. Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

111 Online coronavirus symptom checker

Latest NHS information

The latest information on symptoms of the COVID-19 infection and travel advice can be found on the website here: Coronavirus advice

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