Picture of three clinical staff talkingAt West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, we believe that the security of the mother and the newborn is paramount. Reassuring parents that their baby is in a safe, secure environment is a priority for us.

Incidents involving the security of the newborn are very rare, but our Maternity service takes this issue seriously.

The Director of Midwifery and Gynaecology, Head of Children's nursing service and the Divisional General Manager are responsible for ensuring adequate security arrangements are in place, security of the environment and that there are processes in place to safeguard correct identifications and labelling of newborns.

Matrons and midwives have overall responsibility for enforcing and maintaining standards for correctly identifying and labelling newborns and maintaining a secure environment. We are responsible for ensuring any risks are reported, access monitored and identified if required.

All members of staff have a responsibility to comply with the standards for correctly identifying and labelling newborns and maintaining a secure environment through being vigilant and allowing access to ward areas to those who are visiting a relative, reporting any concerns to their Matrons and conforming to the risk management process. Staff identification badges are not issued until employees have been officially checked and authorised via the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

A security swipe card, which is a part of staff identification, is required to enter the following areas:

  • Delivery suite
  • Katherine ward (postnatal including Transitional care)
  • Victoria ward (antenatal)
  • Alexandra Birth centre (birthing unit)
  • Woodlands Neonatal unit
  • Starfish ward
  • Triage

Advice and guidance to mothers

CCTV provision is installed throughout the maternity building, including video intercom systems for allowing entrance and exit of ward areas. Monitors for viewing  the door entrances are installed at the midwifes and nurses' station.

In order to be able to keep safe and secure and enjoy your stay with us, we provide the following guidance:

  1. Become familiar with the staff who work on the ward
  2. Do not leave your baby alone or unattended. If you need to leave the ward, let a member of staff know
  3. Always check for identification before handing your baby to anyone. Check that members of staff are wearing an valid West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust ID badge (all ID badges have a photograph of the member of staff on them)
  4. If your baby needs to be taken elsewhere for a test or examination, always go with your baby if you can
  5. Babies should be transported around the hospital in their cots, not carried in your arms.
  6. Question anyone unfamiliar who comes into your bed space and asks about your baby
  7. Report any person acting suspiciously to a member of staff
  8. If you have visitors who, for any reason, you do not want access to visit you, please let the staff know at the time of your admission to the ward.
  9. Please speak to a member of staff if you have any concerns.

Picture of a nurse measuring the blood presseure of a patient

How to get help

Picture of a pregnant person with hands on tummy

Refer yourself