Visiting And Attending Maternity Services

Covid-19: Visitors are currently not permitted within the hospital

Attending the maternity unit. Guidance for women and their families

***Important Changes***

“We are making some changes to our maternity wards. From Friday 22nd of May please use the main maternity entrance if you are attending our Antenatal Assessment Unit (AAU) and for an Induction of Labour (IoL). For women attending for an Elective Caesarean Section or for Emergency Gynaecology please continue to use the Cotswold Ward entrance.”

From Tuesday 14th April, to help keep you and your baby safe, we are changing how we deliver our antenatal appointments in the Antenatal Clinic at Southmead Hospital and also how we provide postnatal and feeding advice.

  • We're no longer allowing partners to come to any scans (until now we have allowed partners to come to the first scan). We know this will be upsetting for you and recognise how precious your scan photos are so we're delighted to be able to offer you and your partner three scan images at no cost to you (usually £4), funded by generous donations to Southmead Hospital Charity. The images will be given to you at your scan appointment.
  • Wherever possible, we are moving to telephone consultations to optimise social distancing.
  • If you are attending the antenatal clinic at Southmead Hospital for a scan and an appointment with a doctor:
  • Please come into the antenatal clinic for your scan but then return to your car for a telephone consultation with a doctor, leaving your yellow notes in the clinic for the doctor to read before your call.
  • You will be given appropriate advice and be able to pick up prescriptions and your yellow notes. 
  • For those attending for an appointment only, you will be triaged to see whether your appointment can be carried out entirely by telephone from your home or whether you need to come to the clinic. Please do not come to clinic for your appointment time – you will be phoned during the morning or afternoon depending on when your appointment time was scheduled (but not at the exact time). If you need to be seen in person, the doctor will advise you and book a face to face appointment for you.
  • If you are attending the diabetic clinic for a late morning appointment please bring some snacks and your medication if you take it at lunchtime
  • There are six parking spaces marked as “Antenatal Clinic Patient Parking” outside the clinic that you can use for picking up your notes and prescriptions from the antenatal clinic. There will be no charge to park in these spaces.
  • There is a 24/7 telephone helpline available, staffed by midwives, if you need any postnatal advice or have any feeding concerns on 0117 414 5148. Video link is available if needed. 
  • WiFi is available throughout the maternity wards so please remember to pack your charger. More information on the NBT WiFi can be found at

If you  MUST attend the unit, please see 'Change to Ward Entrance' below.

We know it is important for our patients to keep in contact with family and friends. We will support them where possible to make use of any telephone and video call functions they might have available.

We acknowledge this is a challenging time, and all of us at North Bristol NHS Trust thank you for playing your part in keeping our patients, staff and community safe.

Compassionate exceptions:

  • Exceptions can be made on compassionate grounds, including vulnerable patients with dementia or learning disabilities, or patients receiving end-of-life care. These exceptions must be pre-arranged with the matron or senior sister.
  • Please strictly follow hygiene and distancing guidelines, regularly washing your hands or using alcohol gel. You must not visit in any circumstances if you have a new persistent cough or a high temperature.

Labour and birth

  • Please nominate one birthing partner who is symptom free and has not been self-isolating to be with you during labour in the Central Delivery Suite or Birth Centres.
  • If you are in labour and have symptoms or you have been self-isolating please contact us on 0117  4146916 before arriving.
  • After the birth, once you are ready to be transferred to the postnatal ward, we request your birthing partner leaves.
  • We request you and your birthing partner washes their hands or uses alcohol gel when entering and exiting the maternity unit.
  • We are unable to offer any visiting at this time.
  • Home births have been temporarily stopped.

The safety of mothers and babies is our number one priority.

Please do not hesitate to speak to our staff if you have any concerns.

Entrances and exits

Please use the main maternity reception to enter and exit our Maternity Services at Southmead, including AAU and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

• Upon arrival, you will be asked to sign in and given a lanyard.
• If you are a visitor, we kindly request you wear your lanyard at all times.
• Please keep noise in this area, and within the wards, to a minimum.
• When leaving, please ensure you sign yourself out and return your lanyard.

However, please use the Central Delivery Suite entrance if:

• You are in labour and are planning on birthing at either Mendip Birth Centre or the Central Delivery Suite. If your birth partner needs to move the car, get bags etc after your arrival, they will be allowed out of this door for that purpose.
• You are having scans on the Central Delivery Suite including fetal medicine scans.
• You are having treatment on CDS including ECVs.

Change to Ward Entrance

From 6th April, please use the Cotswold Ward entrance if you are attending Southmead Maternity Services for:

  •  An induction of labour (IoL).
  •  An Elective (planned) caesarean birth.
  •  The Antenatal Assessment Unit (AAU).

Please telephone AAU before arriving on 0117 4146906

Entry and exit from any other route is not permitted without speaking to a member of staff. We appreciate your co-operation.

If you have any questions, please speak to your midwife or a member of the security team.