Important update: COVID-19 Self Testing Arrangements for all Maternity Services, including - Early Pregnancy Services, Scanning Department and Neonatal Unit
At Lancashire Teaching Hospitals it is our priority that pregnant people have a support partner throughout pregnancy and birth. It is also important that we do all we can to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19 and keep everyone who use our services and our staff safe.
We know that 1 in 3 people with Covid-19 do not have symptoms. In order to maintain a safe environment, lateral flow self-testing is advised to ensure that we can prevent the spread of the virus.
All pregnant women and people, including their support partners are asked to arrange their own lateral flow test 24 hours before they come to attend any early pregnancy or antenatal appointment, ultrasound scan or consultation both in the hospital and community settings as well as when visiting neonatal unit.
It is important that you know this ask is not mandatory and will not affect your access to use any of the services, however, we really do hope that you will support our efforts in protecting everyone who use and provide all services at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals. Lateral flow testing it is recommended by NHS England. Please scan our QR code for more information or click on the link .
At the time of appointment you and your support partner will be be asked the Covid-19 screening questions and for proof of a recent negative test result. Irrespective of the test result, the level of our care will not be affected, but it will allow us to work together to see what the best course of action is to continue providing your care. This may mean we postpone appointments if possible, however, if the appointment is not able to be delayed, we will work with you and your support partner to look at the best way to approach providing your care.
Lateral flow test kits can be ordered from Order coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow tests - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) website or from local pharmacists, these are free of charge. It is asked that all lateral flow test results are reported via the online reporting system. This will generate an email and a text message confirmation of the result. This result provides proof of a recent negative test and this should be brought to each appointment.
FAQ - What else do you need to know?
Lateral flow tests should only be used if you do not have symptoms. If you do have symptoms of COVID-19, you must have a PCR test at your local test site or pharmacy test kits.
If you have to come into hospital for a more urgent or unexpected appointments the usual screening questions will be undertaken prior to attendance to the setting and an ID now rapid test may be undertaken.
If a test result is positive
We understand that a positive test result for COVID-19 is worrying at any time including in pregnancy. If you or anyone in your household tests positive:
- Everyone in the household must self-isolate immediately.
- The person who tests positive must get a PCR test to confirm the result (a PCR test is a different type of COVID-19 test).
- Contact the department you are due to attend and speak with a midwife. The midwife will make a plan with you regarding whether you should attend the planned appointment or whether it is safer to postpone.
It is important that you contact the maternity assessment suite (Triage) on 01772 524495 if you test positive and you are concerned about the wellbeing of your baby’s movement or if you feel unwell at any time. Do not delay calling us as we will make arrangements for you to be seen.
Antenatal appointments are important for the safety and wellbeing of you and your baby, so as long as your lateral flow is negative you should proceed with the planned appointment.
Chorley Birth Centre Re-opens!
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is delighted to announce that the relocated freestanding Chorley Birth Centre within the Chorley and South Ribble Hospital site has reopened!
The new centre offers an outstanding birth environment for women with active birthing equipment and birthing pools in each of the birth rooms in addition to clinical assessment/education areas for expectant mums. The freestanding birthing centre is one of four place of birth options offered to all women booked within the Trust’s care.
Janet Cotton, Divisional Midwifery and Nursing Director at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“We are absolutely thrilled that the new birthing centre is now complete. We already have more than 300 women booked to birth at the centre supported by the Chorley Birth Centre continuity of carer team. We are really looking forward to opening the centre and welcoming our birth centre babies into the world.
“The facility is supported by the Chorley Birth Centre continuity of carer team as we know that mums-to-be benefit from care by a named midwife and team in terms of physical outcomes, satisfaction and the psychological support provided.
“The development of the centre has truly been a combined effort and I want to thank everyone from our maternity teams to our contractors for their determined efforts and contribution to make the new centre happen”.
The former birth centre at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital was closed in February 2019 and services were relocated temporarily until the new birth centre was completed. Lancashire Teaching Hospitals is very proud to have been able to re-provide the freestanding birth facility on Chorley and South Ribble Hospital site.
Sarah Cullen, Nursing, Midwifery and AHP Director at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“After a challenging year, I am so pleased to see that Chorley Birth Centre is now completed! This is a real boost – we are delighted to be able to provide expectant mums and their families with a fourth birthing choice, alongside Preston Birth Centre, the delivery suite at Preston and home births. I want to say a huge thank you and well done to our Maternity Voices Partnership, which has worked with our maternity leaders and staff to achieve this vision. This will make a huge difference for mums-to-be and their families in and around Central Lancashire.”
An official, public opening of the Chorley Birth Centre will take place next year.
Parents in Mind
Clinical advice on coronavirus COVID-19 and pregnancy
We have a number of queries around any specific advice for women in pregnancy. This clinical guidance on COVID-19 and pregnancy was published yesterday by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and will be updated on a weekly basis. Associated Q&As for pregnant women are also available on their site.
We now have a Coronavirus information line for maternity, the phone number is: 01772 524307
Midwives needed for digital pilot
The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) is looking for midwives and healthcare professionals to take part in their pilot programme for digital maternity exemption certificates. The digital scheme is a quicker and cheaper alternative to the paper FW8 application form for faster and easier access to maternity exemption for mums-to-be.
Since its launch to a small pool of midwives in January 2017, the digital pilot has received over 40,000 applications. The NHSBSA is now looking for more midwives to join the pilot and try out the new service.
Pregnant mothers and women who have given birth in the last 12 months are entitled to free NHS dental treatment and NHS prescriptions with a valid maternity exemption certificate. The NHSBSA’s digital maternity exemption pilot ensures that women receive their certificate instantly.
There are currently over 2000 midwives taking part in the digital pilot and out of an average of 460,000 annual maternity exemption certificate applications, around 17% are received via the digital route. The remaining 83% are received through a paper application form which mothers fill in and pass onto their GP or midwife to countersign and post. Mothers could wait weeks before receiving their certificate in the post as the forms are often sent in weekly batches.
How to sign up to the digital pilot:
Midwives and GPs can sign up to the pilot quickly and easily. For those who already have an existing nhs.net email address, they can use this to register and log in. This can be done by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and including:
- NMC or GMC number
- nhs.net email address
Amy Carss, Service Delivery Manager at NHSBSA said: “We have been working really hard on the development of this pilot and have been delighted with the success so far.
The digital route holds many benefits for midwives and the women they look after, including instant exemption certificates and less administration work. We’re really encouraging midwives and GP’s to sign up to our digital pilot and spread the word within the community.”
For more information about maternity exemption certificates or the digital pilot, visit https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/exemption-certificates/maternity-exemption-certificates
Chorley Birth Centre CLOSURE
The Birth Centre at Chorley temporarily closed from 25 February 2019.
We are in the process of contacting all women who planned to have their baby at the Birth Centre, to discuss their options.
We are very sorry that this closure has affected women’s birth plans, and will do everything we can to make the best possible alternative arrangements.
If you are pregnant, and had planned to have your baby at Chorley Birth Centre, and we haven’t been in touch with you yet, please ring 01772 528223.
The reason we have temporarily closed the Birth Centre is that we identified asbestos when we were undertaking some building work.
The presence of asbestos does not pose any risk to patients, visitors or staff whilst it is contained and appropriately managed. Daily air quality checks confirm there are no asbestos fibres in the atmosphere. The area has also been sealed by a specialist asbestos contractor.
However the fire service has advised that the lift should not be used, and we are unable to maintain the fire alarm system on the third floor.
On a balance of risk we have decided that we can no longer use the third floor, which is where the Birth Centre is currently situated.
We are now working on a plan to create a new Birth Centre at Chorley, but unfortunately that won’t be open for some time which is why we need to work with pregnant women to make alternative plans.
Maternity Case Study
The Maternity team at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have adopted and embedded a robust Continuous Improvement approach which has delivered improved outcomes for mothers and babies. The approach was led by the Divisional Midwifery and Neonatal Nursing Director; a Service Development Midwife role was introduced to ensure that improvement was given a priority focus within the team and to provide staff with the support to deliver the ambitious programme. The Continuous Improvement process is fully embedded within the team and staff across the board are able to articulate the vision using improvement language.
You can see this in the case study below:
Here is our newest video - Skin to Skin
Award in Midwifery Leadership
We are thrilled to announce that a member of our staff has won an award for her great work in midwifery leadership.
Emma Gornall, Delivery Suite Ward Manager has won the Midwifery Leadership award in the British Journal of Midwifery Practice Awards 2018.
Emma said: “Since coming into post, myself and my team have been working with the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) as part of the better births by co-design project. Being part of this project has been a fantastic opportunity and we are one of only two trusts within the UK to be selected to participate in this project. Being part of the better births by co-design project has facilitated us to engage with families and staff to develop the environment of our delivery suite to be a place that meets everybody’s needs. With feedback obtained from women, families and staff we have been able to work towards changes to make the delivery suite environment more relaxing and welcoming therefore helping to facilitate positive birth experiences for women with complex pregnancy needs.
I am absolutely delighted to have won this award and I am truly touched to have even been nominated! Within the maternity service we have a fantastic team of midwives, health care assistants, support staff, medical staff, maternity support workers and student midwives. Winning this award is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate all of the hard work and dedication shown by all of the maternity team.”
Emma was nominated for this award by one of the midwives in her team, Alice Du Preez. Alice said: “We are ecstatic that Emma has won this award in the annual British Journal of Midwifery awards this year. This is a reflection of her tireless hard work and commitment to making our delivery suite a wonderful place to work in, and for women to give birth in. Well done, Emma!”
The British Journal of Midwifery (BMJ) Practice Awards 2018 recognises the outstanding achievements within the field of midwifery practice. The awards are a celebration of all of the hard working individuals and teams in midwifery.
We are ecstatic that Emma has won this award in the annual British Journal of Midwifery awards this year. This is a reflection of her tireless hard work and commitment to making our delivery suite a wonderful place to work in, and for women to give birth in. Well done, Emma!