Maternity services at UCLH

We strongly advise that well women still attend their antenatal appointments as planned. However, please note if you or a family member has a fever or a NEW continuous cough then you are required to self-isolate for 14 days. If you are struggling with symptoms please get advice at: https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19.

For hospital-based appointments, there will be a face-to-face screening (questions about your wellbeing) at the ground floor reception in the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Wing (EGA). Please allow extra time ahead of your scheduled appointment as the screening check may take some time.

A lot of our obstetrician appointments have been changed to telephone consultations rather than face-to-face appointments in the hospital, again to avoid unnecessary travel for you and to reduce footfall in a health setting. You should have received a text message regarding this. Please be aware that all our ultrasound scanning appointments and some midwife appointments, including your first booking appointment, will remain face-to-face appointments in the hospital as normal. If you have any queries or are concerned about coming in then please call and we will be able to help.

Our group appointment sessions have been cancelled until further notice. This includes

  • Breastfeeding classes
  • Antenatal classes
  • 16-week group class.

We have set up a YouTube playlist of videos to cover all areas including: antenatal class information, giving birth, tours of wards and key information during COVID-19.

If you are scheduled for an induction of labour or an elective caesarean section, or any other elective activity with us, you will be called by a clinician the day before who will screen you verbally for symptoms of COVID-19.

If you have concerns about reduced fetal movements, waters have broken/leaking, vaginal bleeding, regular painful contractions, severe abdominal pain, flashing lights/visual disturbance and/or migraines or any other emergency concerns or symptoms we still advise that you should attend the 24 hour Maternal and Fetal Assessment Unit (1st floor, EGA Wing UCLH), please contact them prior to coming if you have a fever or NEW continuous cough so that they can arrange for you to go directly into a side room.

Postnatal Visitor Policy Survey:

If you have been an inpatient on our Maternity Care Ward since the pandemic began, you will have experienced our adjusted visiting policy. We would really value your feedback as to how you found this experience.

Please take part in a quick survey. Thank you.

Throughout the pandemic, our visiting policy has been developed in line with Public Health England and NHS England national guidance and in response to changing infection rates in London to protect patients, their visitors and staff.

From the 12 April you can now bring one support partner to:

Outpatients:

  • All scans
  • All midwife appointments
  • All Fetal Medicine Unit appointments
  • All attendances to the Maternal Fetal Assessment Unit

Please note that this does not include GGT glucose tests.

Visitors for outpatient appointments will be required to wait just outside the building as waiting areas inside the hospital cannot accommodate all patients and visitors while socially distanced. Visitors will be able to join patients when they are brought into a room and the appointment starts.

Inpatients:

  • Admissions for induction of labour
  • Admissions for labour and birth
  • Daily 4 hour scheduled visiting times for one nominated individual on our Maternity Care Unit (postnatal ward)
  • Daily 2 hour scheduled visiting times for one nominated individual on our Antenatal Care ward

All visitors for all outpatient and inpatient appointments will require an ID badge which is produced on that day for that day only by ground floor reception staff.

We recommend that visitors arrive 15 minutes before the scheduled appointment time to allow time for this badge to be produced.

Your support during Covid

While we’re pleased to be able to open up visiting permissions, social distancing means that it will be challenging to accommodate the maximum number of permitted visitors in the hospital at any given time. Visitors will need to wait outside the building until they are called up to attend the appointment itself.

Therefore, we’d ask you to support fellow patients and NHS staff by considering whether or not you feel that you need someone to join you for every outpatient appointment, as feels appropriate to you. This will help to maintain a safe environment during Covid.

We really appreciate your understanding and cooperation on this matter.

 This has been done in partnership with UCLH Infection Control team and our Maternity Voices Partnership: a team of our patients and their families who represent patient views and help us shape our services and processes.

Please note:

  • All visitors will be required to wear a face mask and observe the 2 metre social distancing rule at all times in the hospital
  • If possible, please let your midwife know the name and contact details of the person who will visit you on the ward before you give birth. This will allow for a smoother process.
  • The visiting times for our Maternity Care Unit (MCU) and Antenatal Clinic (ACU) are predetermined based on bed number to meet requirements for social distancing, so these time slots are, unfortunately, not flexible.
  • We have converted all appropriate antenatal appointments into virtual (telephone or video). However, as the majority of maternity care requires a face-to-face appointment, we want to assure you that all necessary precautions have been taken to keep your care safe at the hospital.
  • These restrictions only apply to hospital attendances. For community appointments please check with the clinic.
  • We will be reviewing these restrictions regularly in line with the infection rates in London. For any changes to the policy we will update the website and contact service users directly via their MyCare app.

Many thanks for your understanding during this difficult time. Please always contact your midwife for any concerns and attend our Maternal Fetal Assessment Unit (MFAU) if you are worried about bleeding or reduced fetal movements.

Commencing next week we request that our patients and support partners conduct lateral flow tests (LFT) at home, at least 24 hours prior to their antenatal appointment.

 Patients and support partners will be asked to show their results of their lateral flow tests to their clinician when they are in their consultation (e.g. midwife appointment or ultrasound scan) and these will be documented.

 If you haven’t had the chance to order your kit please do so via the government website

Once the test has been done, a text message will then be sent to the patient and partner which can be shown to the clinician during their consultation.

Please download this poster for further instructions.

When attending inpatient care, all birthing support partners will have access to a lateral flow test (LFT) for them to complete during their time as an inpatient. The results will be documented and following their first postnatal visit, support partners will be expected to conduct LFTs at home prior to their next visit.

Please download this poster for further instructions.

 

If you think you may be in labour please contact our team so that they can prepare for your arrival. If you wish to have a water birth or use one of our birth pools for labour, let the team know when you call so they can ensure availability.

If you have any concerns about your pregnancy and need advice, please contact your named midwife (the name and number should be on your maternity notes) or our team on the numbers below:

Maternal Fetal Assessment Unit (MFAU)

Tel: 020 3447 9400 - Select option 2 if you think you may be in labour (24 hours a day).

Labour and delivery care

Tel: 020 3447 7113 - at all other times.

Please only bring one birthing partner with you to either The Birthing Centre or the Labour Ward.

The London Ambulance Service are once again able to guarantee an ambulance response to those women choosing to plan their birth at home, which means we are able to support home births.

Coronavirus is still having a significant impact on all NHS services and we are doing everything to ensure that the safety of women and their babies is not compromised and therefore we will continue to closely monitor the situation in relation to Home Births and will keep you updated if anything changes.

If you wish for a home birth please contact your midwife.

Thank you for your understanding.

Please see below helpful links for information regarding Breastfeeding, as we have had to cancel our Breastfeeding Antenatal Classes during this time:

 

COVID-19 vaccines are recommended in pregnancy. Vaccination is the best way to protect against the known risks of COVID-19 in pregnancy for both women and babies, including admission of the woman to intensive care and premature birth of the baby

The latest information from Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advises pregnant women in the UK should be offered the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. Pregnant women who have received a first dose of AstraZeneca are advised by Public Health England to get the second AZ dose, as planned.

You can book your vaccine via the NHS booking website. If you are under 40, you will only be shown appointments for the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines. If you are 40 or over, you will be asked if you are pregnant. This is to make sure people who are pregnant are only shown appointments for the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines

Please refer to the RCOG website (https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/guidelines-research-services/coronavirus-covid-19-pregnancy-and-womens-health/covid-19-vaccines-and-pregnancy/covid-19-vaccines-pregnancy-and-breastfeeding/)  for the latest information.

Download this document for a detailed Q&A

We understand that having a baby is one of the most important experiences of your life.

You will have particular expectations of your birth that are important to you: where you want your baby to be born, who will be with you and the type of care you get.

For some, engaging with maternity services can be a little daunting and you will want access to appropriate information and safe guidance to help you make informed choices and decisions about your pregnancy.

The maternity team at UCLH will listen to your hopes and concerns and can suggest helpful and practical ideas to help you.


The Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (EGA) Wing provides comprehensive, high quality care with the latest technology for women and their babies in the areas of gynaecology, maternity and neonatal care. Find out more in the video below.