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Hospital reassures parents after coronavirus cases confirmed on Ipswich maternity ward

PUBLISHED: 17:26 17 November 2020 | UPDATED: 13:47 18 November 2020

Maternity services at Ipswich and Colchester hospitals have been changed because of coronavirus  Picture: KATIE COLLINS/PA

Maternity services at Ipswich and Colchester hospitals have been changed because of coronavirus Picture: KATIE COLLINS/PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Changes to maternity services at Ipswich and Colchester hospitals have been announced after a number of women with coronavirus gave birth on the wards.

Ipswich hospital's maternity block which was built to echo one founded in Norwich  Picture: John NormanIpswich hospital's maternity block which was built to echo one founded in Norwich Picture: John Norman

The changes come after the women, who had Covid-19, attended the labour and birthing unit at Ipswich Hospital over the weekend.

As a result, the Brook Ward, usually the midwife-led unit, and the Nova Suite, usually the induction suite, are now being used as Covid-19 isolation wards for people who have tested positive for the virus.

Those who were booked in for midwife-led care will now be using the Deben Ward, previously used for consultant-led care.

Hospital staff have assured mothers-to-be that the quality of care given will not change, with the Deben Ward now fully equipped to provide the same environment seen in the Brook Ward.

Midwives from the maternity service at Ipswich Hospital, which includes the Brook Birthing Centre and Deben Delivery Suite. Picture: SUE KINGMidwives from the maternity service at Ipswich Hospital, which includes the Brook Birthing Centre and Deben Delivery Suite. Picture: SUE KING

Those who are booked for induction will now have their inductions take place on the Orwell Ward, where they will be cared for by the same midwives who usually work on the Nova Ward.

MORE: Visiting restrictions announced at hospital

In terms of visiting restrictions, for induction births one birthing partner is able to attend for the first 90 minutes after admission, helping to settle them on the ward, before then being able to visit 45 minutes per day, which must be pre-booked.

Once a woman is in labour and transferred to the Deben Ward, one birthing partner is able to join them for the entirety of the labour. The same applies for Caesarian sections.

All visitors however have to wear a surgical face mask at all times.

The same policies will also be implemented at the Colchester Maternity Unit, while the home birth service remains unaffected.

A notice for the changes by the Ipswich Maternity Unit said the changes will ensure people are as safe as possible while receiving the same standard of care.

Anna Shasha, director of midwifery at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), which runs both hospitals, said: “We’d like to reassure our expectant parents that they will still be able to have their baby with us, it will just be in a different area of the maternity unit, and our midwifery team will be very happy to answer any questions they may have.”


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