Dads-to-be will soon be able to join their pregnant partners for appointments at Burton's Queen's Hospital.

University Hospitals of Derby and Burton has said it will start to welcome partners to accompany pregnant woman attending some antenatal and scan appointments and to the Maternity Assessment Unit during April 2021. They do not have to be the biological father of the baby.

It comes after women had to attend appointments alone due to coronavirus restrictions limiting the number of people attending the hospitals.

At Burton's Queen's Hospital, partners will be able to attend antenatal and scan appointments and at the Maternity Assessment Unit from Monday, April 26.

A spokesman for the hospital said the date is slightly delayed as "necessary estates works" need to be completed in the antenatal and Maternity Assessment Unit.

The spokesman said: "To maintain safety we are currently completing necessary estate works. However, once these are complete it is expected that access to all our maternity services will be restored by Monday, April 26.

"To maintain effective social distancing in our waiting areas, we will be asking partners to take a seat in marked areas outside the maternity department, and wait to be called into the appointment.

"One partner only can attend; sadly children are not able to accompany the partner at this time.

"Everybody attending must wear a face covering unless they have a medical exemption. Surgical face masks are available at the entrances to our buildings and we will be asking screening questions on arrival.

"In accordance with new national guidance issued on April 15, we are also asking the pregnant lady and their partner, as well as parents visiting babies on our neonatal units, to take part in the government's lateral flow test programme and report results twice a week before appointments and visits.

"If anyone is experiencing difficulty obtaining a test, please discuss this with us at your next appointment.

"To take part, the pregnant lady and her support partner must take the test the same day, and confirm the test result with the trust on arrival, as well as logging it on the NHS Digital online platform at home, and provide proof of the test result(s) taken that day. Partners who are unable to confirm a negative test result will not be able to attend antenatal or ultrasound scan appointments.

Get more news for your area by typing your postcode here:

"Any pregnant lady will need a confirmatory PCR test if the lateral flow test is positive. If the PCR is positive the maternity team will put in comprehensive arrangements to allow mum-to-be to attend their appointment. However, if the partner tests positive they will need to isolate in line with government guidance. A replacement accompanying partner can be selected but they must also be able to provide proof of a same day lateral flow negative test.

"Visiting restrictions for other areas of the maternity service are also being lifted following a lateral flow test taken in the community. Partners can visit once a day for up to four hours per day on the inpatient wards areas.

"For further advice and support please speak to your midwife."

Visiting restrictions in other areas of the trust remain in place in accordance with the visiting guidance.

Top stories from today's newsletter

Not signed up to the newsletter? Try it outhere

Sign up now to receive it for free here