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COVID-19 update

Maternity services

Due to coronavirus (Covid-19) we have introduced restrictions guided by NHS England to maintain the safety of all mothers and babies, and reduce the risk of any infection entering the wards. Please see the details below. We have also put together a frequently asked questions page to help with any queries you might have. 

We will continue to keep this guidance under careful review, in line with the national advice from the Chief Midwifery Officer for England.

Thank you for your understanding during this challenging time. 

UPDATED: Visitor guidance for maternity patients at St Michael's Hospital

From Wednesday 5 August, one nominated person will be able to visit maternity patients at St Michael's Hospital once a day during the visiting hours of 3pm - 5pm only.

Women will be asked to name their nominated visitor, usually the birthing partner, who will need to collect a letter from the main reception desk at St Michael's Hospital each time they visit. Anyone not carrying a letter will be politely informed they are not permitted to visit. When the visitor leaves, this letter must then be handed back to the ward reception. The nominated visitor must be the same person throughout the patient's stay in the hospital.

If you believe that you have additional needs that need to be taken into account please contact the Matron or your community midwife who will be happy to discuss this with you.

Visitors must wear a face covering, gloves and an apron at all times. Visitors can wear their own face covering, but one will be provided for you on arrival if you don't have one. Gloves and aprons will also be provided.       

Please do not visit if you have any symptoms of Covid-19.

Siblings and all other visitors are not able to visit at this time.

Labour and birth at St Michael's Hospital

  • A nominated non-symptomatic birthing partner is allowed to be with you during labour and the birth. If you give birth on the midwife led unit or central delivery suite and you and your baby are able to go home within 2-3 hours after giving birth, your partner will be able to stay with you until you and your baby leave. 
  • If you are being induced on the ward and go into labour, your birthing partner will be called and invited to support you before you are transferred to the delivery suite.
  • If you need to stay at St Michael's as an inpatient, one nominated person is allowed to visit once a day between 3pm - 5pm only. Please see visitor guidance above for details.
  • If your baby needs to be admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), non-symptomatic parents can visit - two parents to the ICU rooms and one parent at a time in the HDU and SCBU rooms.

Reopening of Aschombe Birth Centre

From Friday 14 August 2020, all appointments will once again take place at the Ashcombe Birth Centre after temporarily being held at the outpatients department at Weston General Hospital.

The centre will reopen for births from 9am on Monday 17 August. If you are due to give birth at St Michael's Hospital but would now like to consider the Ashcombe Birth Centre, please speak to your community midwife.

For more information, please visit the Aschombe Birth Centre webpage.

Appointments in Bristol, Weston and the community

  • You can be accompanied by one non-symptomatic person (ideally the birth partner) for the first trimester scan. For additional routine scans please attend the appointment on your own. If you believe that you have additional needs that need to be taken into account please contact the Matron by calling switchboard on 0117 923 0000.
  • Consultant antenatal appointments and scans will continue as usual. Please attend these appointments on your own. Women will be offered telephone appointments where clinically appropriate.
  • Children are not allowed in clinic or on the wards.
  • Community midwifery clinics and home visits are still running as necessary; women are being assessed and only essential face-to-face visits are being undertaken.
  • No antenatal classes or tours of the unit are currently running.

For fetal medicine and early pregnancy clinic appointments  you can be accompanied by one non-symptomatic person.

These measures have been put in place to protect our patients, staff and visitors, and we will continue to keep this guidance under review.

If you have any questions, please contact your midwife.

Once transferred to the postnatal ward, free WiFi is available to everyone so patients can make phone or video calls to their family and friends using apps including Facetime, WhatsApp or Skype and mobile reception is available across our site. Please be aware that we do not allow any video calling, photographs or recordings to be carried out during scan appointments due to the concentration required by the sonographer.

The maternity team has created this video to help explain some of the restrictions currently in place and what to expect when you give birth at St Michael's Hospital. Patient Laura has also shared her experience of giving birth at the hospital during the restrictions in this video.

Sarah Windfeld Screen

Click here to view the video

This animation sets out what pregnant women should expect from NHS maternity services during the coronavirus. Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, Chief Midwifery Officer, and Dr Matthew Jolly, National Clinical Director for Maternity for the NHS in England explain what might change and why it is important to keep in touch with your maternity team.

National Advice Video

Click here to view the video

NHS Volunteer Responders scheme

The NHS Volunteer Responders scheme is open to all pregnant people, not just those who are shielding or vulnerable.    

Volunteer responders can help with picking up shopping or prescriptions, lifts to/from hospital and health appointments. Call 0808 196 3646 or visit their website for more details.