Security is paramount at Darent Valley Hospital to ensure babies are kept safe at all times. The Trust has an identification-band system for new-borns and their mothers, and staff are required to wear ID badges with controlled access to all maternity wards. For your safety, you and your visitors are requested not to let anyone in or out of the wards, for this reason visitors will need to be buzzed out of the ward as well as in. Babies are not allowed to leave the ward until you go home.
We advise that you don’t leave your baby unattended. Please tell a member of staff if you are leaving the ward. Should your baby require any tests in other departments you, your partner and/or a member of staff will accompany your baby.
You may have one support partner stay on the ward 24/7 (currently, this needs to be the same person . At present, the only other permitted visitors are siblings of the new baby).
Having a partner stay helps bonding within the family unit. It also helps both parents learn new skills required to care for baby. We are pleased to be able to offer this but request that the chosen person considers the privacy and dignity of other patients and relatives. We expect all support partners to dress appropriately, wearing footwear at all times if staying overnight. We ask support partners not to walk around in underwear.
The space around beds is limited, so we would request that when a nurse or midwife needs to provide care at the bedside, you help us by making access as easy as possible.
There are ways your nominated partner can help if they choose to stay over night
- Assisting with baby’s feeding
- Changing baby’s nappy and clothes
- Seeking assistance from the midwives station
There is a visitors shower and toilet on the ward. We have a fridge and microwave should you wish to bring in your own food. All food must be stored in containers labelled with your name and bed number. Hospital food is provided for mothers only. Outside the ward there is a vending machine selling snacks and cold drinks. Marks and Spencer, WH Smith and the Eleanor Foundation shop are situated in the main entrance of the hospital.
The Wellspring Restaurant on Level 1 is open 7 days a week. Opening hours are:
- Mon-Fri 07:15 – 19:15 (Lunch from 12-2pm, light snacks available in-between, supper from 4-6pm- call order menu available from 2pm-6pm)
- Sat–Sun 08:00 – 17:00 (Lunch from 12-3pm, no supper/ replaced by call menu 12-4.30pm)
The team on Aspen Ward will provide care and support to ensure that you are physically well, and confident in taking your baby home. We will provide you with any necessary medication, information/notes for the community midwife, contact telephone numbers and advice for ongoing care. When you go home we will be handing your care back to community midwives, and they will visit you at home until your health visitor takes over your care around day 10.