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University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust

Maternity services at Poole Hospital

Poole Hospital's maternity service is based at St Mary's Maternity Hospital, located across the road from the main Poole Hospital site.

Covid-19 guidance

March 2022: Revised Covid-19 maternity visiting guidance

NHS England has published revised guidance for adult visiting during this phase of the Covid–19 pandemic. In maternity, we have also taken the opportunity to review our attendance and visiting guidance, taking into account the additional needs of birthing parents, the un-born and new-born baby, and the environments we are providing maternity care in.

Those who are pregnant require additional measures to reduce the chances of contracting Covid -19 as approximately one third of pregnant people are vaccinated whereas two thirds are either non, or partially vaccinated.

Antenatal clinics, antenatal day assessment unit and scans (limited waiting room area)

  • One partner only permitted in the waiting room and consulting room.
  • Maintain 1 metre distancing in waiting rooms where this is possible due to space constraints.
  • Face masks required for patients and partner unless exempt.
  • Both patient and partner will need to show negative lateral flow device test result taken on the day of the appointment if possible.
  • No children permitted at the time of this review.
  • If you are pregnant and have Covid-19, please let us know on or prior to arrival and we will make arrangements to ensure your appointment goes ahead.
  • We ask partners not to accompany birthing parents if they currently have Covid-19. We will be pleased to welcome an alternative support person.

Labour ward and Haven birthing suite 

  • Two birthing partners permitted.
  • Face masks required for birthing partners unless exempt.
  • Birth partners required to show negative lateral flow device result taken on the day of the admission if possible.
  • No other visitors or children are permitted on the labour ward.
  • We ask partners not to accompany birthing parents if they currently have Covid-19. We will be pleased to welcome up to two alternative support people of the patient’s choice.
  • PCR testing of all birthing parents in labour will continue to be offered so we can put extra measures in place to protect you and our staff.

Antenatal ward, postnatal wards, transitional care unit

  • Open visiting 10am–9pm, no overnight partner stays.
  • One partner or visitor at any one time.
  • Face masks required for partners and visitors unless exempt.
  • Partner or visitor will need to show negative lateral flow test result taken on the day of the visit if possible
  • No children permitted at the time of this review.
  • We ask partners not to attend if they currently have Covid-19. We will be pleased to welcome alternative support people, with one visitor permitted at a time.
  • Please be aware that space in our postnatal wards is limited and in order to protect all our patients we ask that visitors observe one metre distancing between themselves and the neighbouring bed.

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The maternity hospital provides a comprehensive service, offering women as much choice as possible in their maternity care. We are proud to have achieved full accreditation by the Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI).

View the virtual tour of the maternity unit here

Care is shared between midwifery and medical staff, and is undertaken in community settings and within the maternity hospital.

Women may give birth in the Haven Birthing Suite, which has three birthing pools or the Central Delivery Suite which has two birthing pools, depending on their clinical needs.

St Mary's Maternity Hospital is the centre for all high risk care in East Dorset and is fully equipped to meet the needs of women and babies with complications, as well as women with normal pregnancies and births. Around 5,000 babies are delivered by our maternity staff each year, either at home or within the hospital.

Following delivery, and if there are no complications, mothers will be asked to remain in hospital for at least two hours. However, mothers and babies will only return home when they are well enough to do so. Comprehensive postnatal care is provided, either on the postnatal ward, or at home by the community midwives.

Women with babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) or on the Transitional Care Unit may stay longer, as will women who have undergone assisted delivery or caesarean section.

Women are then cared for following the birth of their baby by the team of community midwives.

Self-referral service

If you are more than six weeks pregnant, you can now book your care at Poole Hospital by completing our self referral form. Click here to find out more about the self-referral service

Maternity Fund Raising Campaign

The Poole Maternity Team is currently fundraising to upgrade and equip the birthing rooms on the Labour Ward.

If you would like to make a donation, please click on the link or use the text number below.


Text to 70070 quoting BUMP01 and the amount you want to donate - £3, £5, £10

If you would like to hold a  fundraising event on behalf of the maternity unit please contact

Amy Higginson, Maternity Fundraising co-ordinator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thank for your Support

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