Revealed: New rules for maternity patients at Suffolk hospital

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The maternity visiting rules at Ipswich and Colchester hospitals has changed - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

New rules regarding birthing partners and visiting to maternity wards at Ipswich and Colchester hospitals have been revealed. 

The East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) which runs Colchester and Ipswich hospitals announced the new rules today. 

The new rules mean that two birthing partners are now able to accompany someone in labour at the hospitals. 

Two people may also visit the antenatal/postnatal wards with a birthing partner being able to visit anytime between 8am and 8pm and a second visit accompanying them for a booked one-hour slot during that time. 

One adult is also allowed to attend all ultrasound and fetal medicine scans with someone who is pregnant. 

Anyone who is pregnant may choose to be accompanied by a different support person at different appointments.

The hospitals' waiting areas have been redesigned and visitors are asked to report to the reception where they will then be shown to their seat. 

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The support person may be asked to wait outside or in their cars until the time of the appointment.

After the scan, if no immediate counselling is required, the support person should leave the building while any additional care is provided.

Those visiting the hospitals are still asked to maintain a safe distance from staff and not to visit if they are showing any symptoms of Covid-19. 

All visitors must continue to wear a surgical face mask which covers their nose and mouth. 

More information can be found on ESNEFT's website.