Maternity Visiting Guidance

In view of the national and local increased rates of Covid-19, the maternity unit has taken the difficult decision to impose additional safety measures to ensure the wellbeing of mothers, babies, partners and staff.

These changes are in line with Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust visiting guidance and National Infection Prevention Control measures and recommendations.

We continue to welcome birth partners to support throughout the maternity pathway and to visit in the ward areas in both the antenatal and postnatal period. This includes attending appointments and scans.

The following changes commenced on Wednesday 1st June until further notice: (this remains unchanged after a review on 29th June 2022)

  • All birth partners are encouraged to undertake a lateral flow test and present evidence of a negative lateral flow test either on admission or prior to transfer to maternity wards where possible
  • Birth partners to evidence daily lateral flow tests throughout the hospital stay where possible
  • Two birth partners are now permitted.  The second birth supporter will be able to attend the Delivery suite or the Birth Centre when you are in established labour and can remain with you until you are moved to the postnatal ward. At this time we cannot facilitate more than one birth partner on the antenatal or postnatal ward, however your one nominated birth partner can continue to remain with you if you are admitted to these areas.
  • One designated birth partner is welcomed to visit once transferred to the post-natal ward.
  • Siblings/step/half siblings/siblings from the same family unit are permitted to visit accompanied by the nominated birth partner
  • Birth partners and all visitors will be asked to wear a mask at all times on hospital premises, unless medically exempt where we ask you to wear a visor.
  • Regular hand hygiene will be encouraged.
  • A symptom checker will be carried out on women and partners daily

These changes have been put in place to maintain the safety of everyone in our maternity unit and there will be low tolerance with noncompliance with the above guidance.

These restrictions will be reviewed weekly against the local and regional situation and updated on the Trust website.


Current restrictions: 

Ultrasound Scans: Partner can accompany to all baby scans, antenatal appointments and community antenatal appointments, but will require a lateral flow test. Birth partners are now able to stay overnight. Children are not permitted. 

Early Pregnancy Unit: Our Early Pregnancy Unit is also allowing accompanying partners for both emergency appointments and routine rescans.  Due to very limited waiting room space and the requirement to maintain social distancing measures, we may ask partners to wait outside the department (for example in their car) and they be called by telephone when the woman is about to be seen so that they can accompany her.

Labour: The maternity department supports women to have two designated birth partners in attendance whilst they are in labour. The second birth supporter will be able to attend the Delivery suite or the Birth Centre when you are in established labour and can remain with you until you are moved to the postnatal ward. At this time we cannot facilitate more than one birth partner on the antenatal or postnatal ward, however your one nominated birth partner can continue to remain with you if you are admitted to these areas. All supporters should ensure that they have a negative lateral flow prior to attending the hospital. Anyone having a positive COVID 19 test or symptoms of COVID 19 who are within the 10 days self-isolation period will not be able to attend whilst you are in hospital. Arrangements can be made for another person who is COVID 19 negative to attend in their place. All supporters should ensure that they wear masks at all times whilst in the hospital, unless exempt.

Lateral Flow Tests - in line with Government guidance and to ensure we can continue to safely support your partner to attend all USS and ANC appointments at DVH & QMH, we are requesting that all women and their support partner have had a rapid COVID-19 test (also known as a lateral flow test) within 24 hours of their appointment or scan.

If you log onto www.gov.uk  you will be given step by step guidance on how to collect your free test (from test centres and local pharmacies), how to perform the test and how to register the results.

We request that you register your test and result, which you can then screen shot to show as proof of a negative test result when you attend your appointment.

Planning ahead for your labour:

We appreciate it is very difficult to predict when your labour will start. Therefore we kindly ask that all partners who will be supporting women in labour have a LFT test kit ready to use once labour has started regardless of your intended place of birth.

If you are delivering in hospital and the test result is positive your support partner will continue to stay with you throughout your labour. However, once you have delivered your partner will need to go home prior to you being transferred to the ward. They can then come and collect you once you are ready to be discharged home. This is the same policy that we have had throughout the pandemic for any partner that tests positive for C-19.

Induction of labour and Planned Caesarean Section

We are also kindly requesting that your support partner completes a LFT 24hrs prior to admission for Induction of labour or planned Caesarean Section. Women attending will have already completed a PCR test 48hrs previously and will therefore NOT require a Lateral Flow Test.

Planned External Cephalic version (ECV) or Ferinject (Iron infusion)

If you and your partner are attending Delivery suite for either an ECV or Ferinject infusion we request that you both complete a Lateral Flow Test 24hrs prior to this appointment. Your results can be screen shot and shown to the midwife caring for you, on your admission.

Anaesthetist appointment

If you and your partner are attending Delivery suite for an anaesthetist appointment we request that you both complete a Lateral Flow Test 24hrs prior to this appointment. Your results can be screen shot and shown on your admission.

Please continue to adhere to our social distancing policy and you will still be required to wear a mask at all times whilst in the hospital.

If you have any questions please feel free to speak to your community midwife or email us using the Covid email address below. We will endeavour to answer all of your queries within 3-5 working days.  Email:  dgn-tr.covidadvice@nhs.net

Thank you for your continued understanding and support during this time.