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Maternity Services

This page was last updated: May 6th, 2022

The Maternity department at Royal Cornwall Hospitals cares for people who are pregnant before, during and after the birth of their babies. Each year we look after over 4000 women and their babies. Our friendly and professional team is made up of midwives, consultants, nurses and health workers.

Infant Feeding Support
For more information on how to get support with feeding your baby during the Coronavirus outbreak, please go to our Infant Feeding Team page.

December 2021 - Update from Maternity Services

As you know every part of the NHS is currently under extreme and sustained pressure. We would like to take this opportunity to reassure you that, your Maternity Services are open for business and here to support you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Our priority is always to support you to have a safe and positive pregnancy and birth experience, to do this we need to ensure you have all the information you need to make informed decisions about your care.

It is important you have all the information when making choices about where you want to birth your baby. If given all the information, you choose to birth at home or within one of the freestanding birth centres, we will continue to support you and provide you with safe and personalised care.
We realise how difficult it is currently, as the COVID-19 Pandemic continues, and we know that information about health options during your pregnancy and birth are essential to you when making choices.

To ensure you remain well, we are strongly advising you to get a COVID-19 booster vaccination as soon as possible. There are increased risks to you, your baby and your health, if you should get COVID whilst pregnant, especially if you are not vaccinated.

Vaccination is recommended at any stage of pregnancy so please do not delay. You can book your vaccination online or by calling 119. If you wish to talk to anyone, please contact our 24-hour triage line below, or email the Head of Midwifery for further support and we will contact you.

As you may know, the ambulance service is facing extremely high demand at the moment and because of this, it is possible response times in the community will be longer than usual. If you choose to give birth in one of our freestanding midwifery birth centres or have a home birth, there may be a chance of a delay if you require ambulance transfer to hospital or if you call an ambulance during your pregnancy. It is important you are aware this could happen, and your midwife will also talk to you about this.

If you become unwell or have any concerns about your health, including your baby’s movements, we advise you to call our maternity triage line as soon as possible for advice. Our midwives are available 24 hours a day. Please do not wait until the situation becomes serious, we want to be able to see you early and ensure you get the care or support you need.

Maternity triage line – 01872 258000 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Your Community Midwife will discuss your pregnancy and birth plans with you during your appointments. The senior management team is available and if you would like to discuss anything further or have any concerns, please contact us:

Jane Urben – Head of Midwifery; jane.urben@nhs.net 07909 002429
Nicki Burnett – Chair, Kernow MVP;Chair@KMVP.org.uk 07498 382846

Visiting restrictions for maternity and paediatric services

One of the hardest decisions we have had to make during the pandemic has been the restrictions needed on hospital visiting, and accompanying pregnant women to appointments. We have taken steps to reduce the number of people coming into our hospitals and the risk of spreading the coronavirus. We realise this is really hard for partners and families but we must do everything we can to keep babies, parents and our staff safe.

We have been continually reviewing visiting throughout the pandemic and the latest arrangements for our maternity and neonatal services are as follows:

Paediatrics

One parent at any time and both parents to be present in the event of a critically ill child.

Maternity Services

From the beginning of pregnancy, all partners or support person must commence twice weekly covid-19 testing to enable approved visiting and attendance at appointments

Pregnant women and people can have one support partner with them at:

  • Early pregnancy unit appointments
  • All maternity scan appointments including growth scans
  • All antenatal clinic appointments (Community and hospital)
  • All Community Postnatal appointments
  • Day assessment visits
  • Throughout labour in Delivery suite and birth centres
  • Subject to individual approval, between 2-5pm every day on Wheal Fortune (Transitional Care)
  • Wheal Rose – Your midwife will discuss with you further on the day or please phone the night before if you have a planned admission booked.

There may be limitations in visiting which differ from day to day and to protect everyone a daily risk assessment will take place on Wheal Rose each day.

To ensure everyone can stay safe;

  • All partners are asked to wear a mask at appointments and while moving around the building (unless exempt)
  • We ask that partners have a Covid lateral flow test prior to visiting on the wards. You can go to a local test site, collect tests from a pharmacy or test site, or order them online. You can find your nearest site on the NHS England website or by calling 119. Visitors must report their result here (link opens in a new window) before coming to the hospital.
  • We will open windows to allow for extra ventilation during visiting times, please ask a staff member for extra blankets for yourself or your baby if required.
  • Partners may be asked to wait outside especially in settings with limited waiting room.
  • Please follow the guidance given by staff on the day of your appointment. The guidance will differ slightly depending on where you are having your appointment.
You must not visit if you have any of these symptoms:
  • New continuous cough
  • High temperature
  • Changes to your sense of taste or smell

If you do, you must say at home and go online or call 119 to arrange a Covid-19 test.

For latest information please click on your Midwifery teams Facebook page

Contact the Maternity Team and Midwives, who to call with concerns or complications

If you’re in labour or it’s an emergency please call our triage team on 01872 258000

There will be someone to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Please call the triage team on 01872 258000 if:

  • you think you’re in labour
  • you feel your baby’s movements have slowed down or stopped – please see below for more information about your baby’s movements

Or you experience any of the following:

  • any vaginal bleeding after 12 weeks
  • severe / moderate abdominal pain
  • your waters break (ruptured membranes)
  • visual disturbances like blurring, flashing or floaters
  • severe pelvic pain
  • regular contractions at any point
  • feeling unwell with a high temperature
  • sudden onset of swelling in hands, feet or face
  • headache not relieved by paracetamol

If you think your baby’s movements have slowed down or stopped

Most women usually begin to feel their baby move between 16 and 24 weeks of pregnancy. A baby’s movements can be described as anything from a kick, flutter, swish or roll. The type of movement may change as your pregnancy progresses.

If you think your baby’s movements have slowed down or stopped, call the maternity triage team immediately – do not put off calling until the next day to see what happens.

You can find more information about your baby’s movements on the Kicks Count website

Community midwives

For any questions about your care, pregnancy or baby that aren’t an emergency, please call your community midwives if:

  • skin rash or itchy skin
  • show / mucous plug
  • pelvic discomfort
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • travel information
  • concerns around emotional wellbeing
  • wound infection or a problem with stitches
  • feeding problems or questions
  • jaundiced baby (If you can’t get hold of your midwife, call the triage number above instead)
Location Telephone number
Bodmin 01872 326528
Bude and Stratton 01288 287731
Falmouth 01326 436670
Hayle/St Ives 01736 576130
Helston 01326 435962
Helston Birth Centre 01326 435926
Isles of Scilly 07799 894582
Launceston 01566 761110
Newquay, St Eval and St Columb 01637 834825
Penrice 01726 873079
Penzance 01736 874180
Redruth and Camborne 01209 842172
Truro 01872 246990
Wadebridge 01208 834403

When to call your GP or 111

Call your GP in surgery hours, or 111 if your GP is closed.

  • bleeding before your dating scan
  • cold and flu symptoms
  • diarrhoea and vomiting
  • shortness of breath or chest pain
  • vaginal discharge or itch
  • urinary problems or infection
  • vomiting
  • childhood disease advice
  • cysts and/or lumps
  • varicose veins or leg pain
  • prescription or repeat drugs
  • constipation or piles
  • nose bleeds
  • mastitis (you can also get feeding help from your midwife)

If you have concerns about the midwifery care you or your baby have received

You can ask to speak to the Head of Midwifery, Deputy Head of Midwifery or the matrons if you are concerned about any aspect of your care. Please call 01872 252685 to make an appointment or arrange a call.

Kernow Maternity Voices Partnership

For better births across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

The Kernow Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) is an independently-led NHS working group: a committee of women and their families, community groups, supporting organisations, local commissioners and providers. They all working together to review and contribute to the development of local maternity care.

Kernow MVP exists to support the implementation of Better Births across Cornwall and The Isles of Scilly. We listen to and engage with those who have recently used our local maternity services and feed this back to those that commission & provide them.

You can find out more about Kernow MVP on the Healthwatch Cornwall website, and on the Kernow Maternity Voices Partnership Facebook Page.

Logo - Kernow Maternity Voices

Your information, privacy and consent

Your information and privacy

We recognise the importance of protecting personal and confidential information in all that we do, and take care to meet our legal and other duties. Find out more about our approach to privacy and data protection.

Consent

You are in control of your treatment and care. We are committed to the principle of ‘no decision about me without me’, so please feel free to ask any questions at any time about your consent to treatment and care.

You can find out more about what consent means in these videos.

Our Inclusivity Statement

The maternity pages have information for women and people who are pregnant. For simplicity of language, sometimes we’ve used the term ‘women’, but this should be taken to also include all people who are pregnant, in labour and in the postnatal period.

If you are pregnant, but don’t identify as a woman, please tell your midwife your preferred pronoun and we’ll make sure it’s used on your records and throughout your care.

Patient Experience and Feedback

We are passionate about our patient’s experiences and value feedback.
Please see below the ways to reach the team to let them know about the care and treatment received by our local Maternity Services.

Patient Experience Team: Email- rcht.patientexperience@nhs.net Tel- 01872 252793
Care Opinion: https://www.careopinion.org.uk/
Kernow Maternity Voice Partnerships: Email info@kmvp.org.uk
Healthwatch Cornwall: Share your views | Healthwatch Cornwall
In writing:
Head of Midwifery
Maternity & Neonatal Services
Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust
Truro TR1 3LJ 01872 250000

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