Services available at: Lister Hospital
Here at the Lister Hospital Diamond Jubilee Maternity Unit, our team provides some specialist services for pregnant women and their babies.
This is a consultant-led service providing specialist care. The team consists of consultants, midwives, healthcare assistants and the administration team.
We see pregnant women and people who have been referred following an ultrasound scan that may have detected a concern with the baby’s anatomy or growth. We run a multi-disciplinary service and meet regularly to discuss cases with our neonatal colleagues. We have a close working relationship with specialist fetal medicine teams in tertiary units – including at University College Hospital, London – to help plan ongoing care for some pregnancies.
We work closely with the regional genetics department and laboratory to provide diagnostic tests for some women and people who may have an increased screening chance for Down’s syndrome or when a chromosome difference is suspected in the baby. We perform the following invasive tests: amniocentesis (amnio) and chorion villous sample (CVS).
At each visit an ultrasound scan will be carried out, followed by a discussion with the doctor about the findings.
Follow-up appointments may be arranged on an individual basis. Close communication is maintained with your referring consultant, GP and midwife while you are in our care.
Multiple pregnancy service
At the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, if you are pregnant with twins, triplets or more, we have a specialist team including a named midwife Pam who will offer you continuity of care during your pregnancy.
We will develop a personalised care plan with you to support you during your pregnancy, birth and after your baby is born.
We will offer you appointments and scans as recommended by national guidance and you can come to your appointments either at the Lister or Hertford County Hospital.
If you know you are pregnant with twins, triplets or more before you book for pregnancy care with us, you can write this on the online booking form and we will automatically arrange for you to have your pregnancy booking appointment with Pam.
Otherwise, if you discover you are expecting twins, triplets or more at your scan appointment, we will arrange for you to have your appointment at 16 weeks with Pam and she will also meet you at 32 weeks to discuss your birth plan.
The Twins and Multiple Births Association, now the Twins Trust, has previously rated our service as outstanding.
Our neonatal unit at the Lister cares for premature and sick newborn babies. The unit is located on the ground floor of our maternity building. We also provide a neonatal outreach service.
If you know your baby will need to be admitted to our neonatal unit, we will make sure that you have the opportunity to visit the unit in preparation for the birth and admission of your baby.
Our staff appreciate it can be distressing for you to have your baby or babies admitted to our unit so soon after they have been born. We are here to help and will do our best to minimise the effects of the separation. You will be encouraged to be involved as soon as possible with caring for your baby.
Visiting your baby
The Lister neonatal team eased Covid-19 restrictions on the unit in May 2021.
The unit’s approach to Covid-19 restrictions is based on recommendations by UK charity Bliss, and this latest change is in line with the easing of restrictions across the UK.
What does this mean for me?
Both parents (or one parent with one designated support person) can care for their baby or babies at the same time.
What Covid-19 restrictions remain in place?
To help keep the babies in our care, parents, visitors and staff as safe as possible, a number of restrictions remain in place.
Parents/the designated support person must:
- Wear the face mask provided when inside the unit
- Follow social distancing guidelines
- Complete the risk assessment given to you when your baby is admitted to the unit
- Not come to the hospital if you or any member of your household are displaying any of the main symptoms of coronavirus – a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
No other family member apart from the parents should visit the unit, including the baby’s siblings.
Rapid lateral flow testing for CovidD-19
Rapid lateral flow tests help to find cases in people who may have no symptoms but are still infectious and can give the virus to others.
The neonatal team strongly advise that all parents attending the unit undertake twice weekly lateral flow testing. Please also ensure you take a photo of your negative test result which you can show on the day.
Getting your rapid lateral flow tests
A free pack of 7 tests per household can be ordered to your home from the gov.uk website (see the ‘start now’ button).
You can also collect up to 2 packs of 7 tests (14 in total) for free from a local pharmacy – please visit the gov.uk to find a pharmacy near you.
Alternatively you can visit a local test site for a free rapid lateral flow test or collect 2 packs of 7 tests from a local test site – please visit the gov.uk to find a test site near you.
Could this guidance change?
Restrictions are subject to change if national guidance changes or the prevalence of Covid-19 changes locally.
Due to the unpredictable nature of the neonatal care, if the unit becomes busy and social distancing becomes a challenge, parents may be asked to visit one at a time. This will be at the discretion of the person in charge.
Zero tolerance to abuse
We ask you to adhere to these rules which are in place to keep everyone safe and be respectful to our staff – we have a zero tolerance policy towards abusive and intimidating behaviour. Thank you.
Personal belongings and parking
Coin-operated lockers are provided for items to be stored during your visit.
Parking is available in the hospital multi-storey car park. Parents of babies admitted to the unit are able to park at reduced cost. Please discuss parking with the nurse caring for your baby.
If you have further questions about this guidance, please speak with a member of the neonatal team.
Ward rounds are led by the consultants and carried out on a daily basis, in the mornings and sometimes in the evenings. During ward rounds consultants are happy to meet parents to discuss any queries or concerns.
The area is monitored by CCTV.
There are three security doors you will need to go through before entering our unit. If our staff are busy attending to a baby there may be a delay in answering the door bell. Everyone must take responsibility to ensure the door is closed after them. Please do not let unauthorised visitors follow you into the unit.
ITU and HD rooms
The nurse caring for your baby will provide information and support to help you become comfortable when you visit. Your baby may be attached to monitors and equipment and your nurse will be able to explain what it is for.
Special care nurseries
There are three special care nurseries. Babies who do not require intensive or high-dependency care are nursed in these rooms until discharged home or transferred to the postnatal ward or transitional care.
We provide transitional care which is situated on the postnatal ward. Transitional care is for babies who need some medical treatment, but do not require admission to the special care nurseries.
We provide an outreach service, the aim of which is help with earlier discharge home from the unit. Your baby will be visited at home on a regular basis by the neonatal outreach sisters once discharged from the hospital. This option will be discussed fully – and planned – with you.
The Lister Neonatal Unit Families Group is run by parents whose babies have needed to spend time in special care after their birth.
You can find out more about them on their website and request to join their private Lister Neonatal Unit Families Group Facebook group where families can share their experiences and ask questions.