Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is reminding pregnant women in Oxfordshire that medical help is still at hand during the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many maternity units, the Trust has made a number of changes recently to how we provide care to women during pregnancy, to keep both patients and staff members safe. This has included carrying out some appointments by telephone or video. However, the maternity service is still open 24/7 for births, urgent care, and clinical advice. Some face-to-face appointments with a midwife or doctor are essential, and it is important to attend.
Miss Catherine Greenwood, Consultant Obstetrician and Clinical Director for Maternity at the Trust, said: “As we can all understand, many people have anxieties around their health during this very unusual time – especially pregnant women.
“Some women may feel afraid to leave their homes to attend appointments or to come to hospital as they have concerns around getting COVID-19. Similarly, we have heard reports of some women not attending appointments because they don’t want to overburden the NHS.
“We want to remind women not only that care is still available, but that it is actually really important that they stay in contact with their maternity team and attend their scheduled appointments.
“We will use the appropriate measures to keep you safe from infection every time we see you. In addition, wherever we can we will do these appointments remotely. We’re here for you, day or night, if you have concerns about your health or your unborn baby’s wellbeing.
“If any women are worried about not attending their appointments because they’re self-isolating, please rest assured that we will offer new appointments for when it ends. If you have an urgent problem, you can speak to a midwife or doctor day or night at our Maternity Assessment Unit.”
We are running our usual high risk antenatal clinics in the Horton and at the John Radcliffe, and the ultrasound departments at both hospitals are also still running. Our midwives are still able to see women regularly in pregnancy including in Banbury, Chipping Norton, Wantage and Wallingford, as well as in Oxford.
Antenatal classes are not running in person at present, however our midwifery teams are running childbirth and ‘Ask the Midwife’ sessions using Facebook live from their Oxfordshire Maternity Voices Partnership page.