The government have recently introduced at home twice weekly rapid (Lateral flow) testing to be available to everyone.
Self-administered tests can be ordered online to undertake at home via the national portal: https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests
The home testing kits require a nasal and throat swab and come with instructions for use. When the test is completed this should be recorded using the NHS digital online platform. Once recorded a confirmation test result should be sent via text and/or email. This can be shown to the maternity staff to record the result in your handheld notes. We wanted to make you aware that midwives will be asking at all contact if this has been completed.
What you need to do
- Order the lateral flow test online via the above website.
- Before every appointment (hospital or community) perform the test within the 24 hours before you appointment – the test takes 30 minutes to show the result.
- Report the results online to receive a confirmation text or email.
- When attending your appointment you will be asked to present your result, this will be recorded in your handheld notes.
- Throughout your care in the maternity services, we will continue to ask questions to check you have not been exposed to COVID recently and you do not have any symptoms – please let us know if this is the case so we can provide you with appropriate care and support.
- The team at YDH continue to wear PPE when providing care and request a facemask is worn to all appointment (unless exempt) regardless of the lateral flow result.
Attending the Labour Ward
- You will be asked if you and your support partner can do a Lateral Flow Test before attending the Labour Ward for any reason, including when you are in labour.
- This should not delay your journey as you can bring the test with you.
- If you are coming in for a planned admission and/or have done your own Lateral Flow test we will offer you a PCR test on admission.
- If you have not done your own Lateral Flow Test we will offer you one on admission as the PCR takes up to 24 hours to have a result. We are not able to offer support partners testing in hospital.
What you need to do if your test result is positive
- Please contact labour ward or your community midwife you are due to see. If a pregnant woman’s result is positive, the maternity unit can arrange the ongoing care and when/where is most appropriate to see you, this will not affect your care if urgent or time sensitive.
- If their support person result is positive – we would advise a different support person be selected for the appointments who has tested negative. If appropriate the appointment could be postponed, please speak to your midwife.
- Follow the self-isolation guidance on Gov.uk website once you have reported your Lateral flow test result and book a PCR test to confirm a positive result.
- Everyone in your household will need to isolate with you.
If a pregnant woman chooses to decline the offer of lateral flow testing all care will continue with PPE and social distancing. If their support person declines this offer they can still attend where PPE and social distancing can manage the risks. However if this is not possible this would be discussed at the time and there is a possibility they may not be able to accompany the appointment.
Please do speak to your midwife if you have any questions.
We are doing everything we can to provide a safe environment and appreciate your support in efforts to keep you, your families, other hospital patients and staff safe – Yeovil Hospital Maternity Team.