Partners will need to take a free lateral flow test at home and receive a negative result before they are able to attend.
Carla Jones-Charles, divisional director of midwifery, gynaecology and sexual health at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “We have been working to lift restrictions as far as possible whilst prioritising the health and safety of those who use our services and we’re really pleased to be able to announce this latest relaxation.
“We appreciate that it has been an anxious time for pregnant women throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and that having to attend the EPAU alone has been particularly difficult as these appointments have often been due to concerns with pregnancies – such a worrying time.
“From Monday 10 May partners can attend EPAU scans if they have a negative test result. We ask them to make sure they report to the reception desk on Route 122 – not go straight up to the unit – where they can show their test result and be issued with a slip to gain entry. We also need partners to state they are going to EPAU so they can be directed there as quickly as possible, not sent elsewhere in maternity services.”
She added: “We thank everyone for their patience throughout the pandemic where we have been working together to make the hospital as safe as possible for both our service users and our staff.”
Lateral flow tests are free and available from Boots and Lloyds pharmacies, supermarket pharmacies and some local pharmacies. Follow the instructions in the test kits and register your results online at gov.uk/covidresults.
Bring your email/text result as proof of the test – but do not bring your actual test kit with you. Tests should be done the night before or on the day of the appointment.
Walsall Healthcare is also asking everyone who uses its services to continue to play their part in reducing infection risk by wearing a face covering, washing their hands or using the hand sanitiser provided and maintaining a two-metre distance. If anyone is experiencing Covid-19 symptoms which are a new, continuous cough, high temperature, or a change or loss in taste or smell they should not come into the hospital but contact their midwife or the maternity unit for advice.