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Maternity Services

Re-introduction of restrictions - Tuesday 6 July (reviewed 20 September 2021)

Visiting restrictions across our adult inpatient wards have been reintroduced. County Durham now has one of the highest community rates of COVID-19. Restricting visiting is not an easy decision, but we need to act to help protect our patients and our workforce.

We very much recognise the many benefits visitors can bring to a patient's care and wellbeing but we must also maintain our duty of care to protect our own people and all patients by minimising the risk of the spread of infection. Weekly consideration is being given to this position to look at possible, safe re-introduction and how this would be managed. Current restrictions will remain in place while community prevalence, hospital admissions & outbreaks remain high.

We know this is very difficult for loved ones. We do have some exceptions in place which are listed below. If you have any concerns then please discuss them with the ward manager.

We have ipads available on our wards so you can visit virtually with loved ones and you can also send messages and photographs through our 'Stay in Touch' scheme.

Exceptions to visiting restrictions:

  • Patients receiving end of life care
  • Women in labour will be able to have one birthing partner
  • One parent or carer will be able to accompany children in our emergency departments, children's wards and neonatal units
  • Patients with dementia, a learning disability or autism and those who require a carer
  • Where visiting will support discharge or the mental wellbeing of a patient this can also be arranged at the discretion of the ward manager/nurse in charge


Update: May 2021

We are pleased that from Monday 17th May, we are relaxing visiting within our maternity services. To help protect you, your family and our colleagues, we are introducing Lateral Flow Device testing for women and their partners or support person and asking them to input results into an app.

There is more information about this testing in the leaflets available down the right hand side of this page.

You can download the Health Call App to input your results by accessing this link:

We will also be introducing additional PCR testing.

  • PCR testing for women in advance of an elective delivery with Rapid PCR Testing being used when women present in spontaneous labour.
We will also be opening up scheduled visiting on the Postnatal Wards with the partner/support person initially visiting one hour per day every day.
On our neonatal wards we will be supporting both parents to visit their baby together at the same time by appointment.

If you have any concerns or queries please just contact your midwife.

*Please note our leaflets are available in different languages or formats upon request. Please contact your midwife or the Trust's communications team on to make a request.

'I feel it is important to relay my experience back to let the staff know they are doing a brilliant job! I would like them to know I appreciated all they did for myself, my family and our beautiful baby girl.'

Patient, Labour Ward, Darlington Memorial Hospital