Lateral flow testing for women and their support partners - from 7 June 2021
Following the most recent Government guidance, UHS maternity services will be introducing lateral flow testing (LFT) across pregnancy outpatient pathways so that your chosen support person can accompany you to all outpatient appointments.
You and your chosen support person will be encouraged to sign up to the home COVID-19 screening programme that has been initiated across the UK (see below for information). You will be asked to bring evidence of a negative lateral flow test, that you carried out at home in advance of your scheduled appointment, by bringing and showing the reception staff on arrival.
What are booked outpatient appointments?
Appointments booked/scheduled in advance, such as:
- antenatal appointments, both in the hospital and the community
- routine scan appointments, both in the main ultrasound department and in the community, which includes the fetal medicine department
- non-routine appointments where you are required to attend the maternity day assessment unit (MDAU)
- pre-clerking appointments
- booked consultant clinic appointments
What appointments are not booked in advance?
Unscheduled or emergency appointments including:
- unscheduled/emergency scan appointments in the maternity day assessment unit (MDAU)
- unscheduled/emergency scan appointments, both in the main ultrasound department and the fetal medicine department
For unscheduled/emergency appointments you may not have the chance to complete a LFT in advance. In this circumstance you will both be given a testing kit in the reception area of where your appointment is, so the test can be performed.
Support people will be asked to leave the ward area once they have collected their testing kits, to perform their LFT in either a designated area of the hospital or in the car.
Support people will then be called back into the building at the relevant time when they can show evidence of their negative lateral flow test.
Testing on hospital admission
We will continue to carry out inpatient swab testing (PCR) for both you and your support partner on admission to hospital (including labour).
When will this testing start?
In order to give you and your support person time to sign up to the home COVID-19 screening programme, we are looking at an implementation date of Monday, 7 June 2021.
After this date, the expectation is that you and your support person will be able to provide evidence of a negative lateral flow test that will have been done at home, in advance of the appointment.
How can I get a home testing kit?
You can easily get your home testing by choosing one of the steps below:
1. Order kits on line by following this link:
2. Go to your local pharmacy and ask for some home testing kits
3. Go to any identified test site locally to collect a home testing kit. These locations may be found by following this link: https://www.gov.uk/find-covid-19-lateral-flow-test-site
While LFT is not mandatory, UHS maternity services are keen to promote the following message to women and support people:
Please help us to help you by keeping everyone safe and sign up to lateral flow testing
Any women and support person who does not want LFT testing, can continue to access services but will be asked to comply with individual departmental rules regarding waiting areas and will be expected to wear appropriate PPE.
Thank you (update as of June 2021)