Community midwifery teams across North Wales are to move into locations such as disused sports centres to minimise the risk of infection during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Over the next few weeks, the services will be moving away from community hospitals to locations “as close as possible” to their previous sites.

The changes to the way community midwifery services are operating are being introduced as part of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s work to reduce the risk of infection from Covid-19, it says.

Home-from-home midwifery units will also temporarily close for the duration of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Women with appointments are being asked not contact community midwives about the changes as with they will be called personally about any changes to their appointments.

Fiona Giraud, director of midwifery and women’s services, said: “We know this is a particularly worrying time for women.

“These temporary changes are part of our work to do everything we can to prevent infections and keep pregnant women safe.

“Most postnatal checks are now being carried out by phone, but new mums will still be able to bring their baby to a community clinic for newborn screening to take place.”

The health board said it will provide further updates in the coming days about changes of locations for community midwifery teams.

The current list of changes is:

  • The Holywell community midwifery team has moved to Holywell Leisure Centre
  • Dolgellau community midwives have moved to the Dolfeurig Centre
  • Community Midwives in Colwyn Bay are now temporarily based at Eirias Park

The health board will not be offering its usual home birthing service at its midwifery-led units in Dolgellau and Ysbyty Bryn Beryl, Pwllheli, until further notice

However, a spokesman said the Along-Side Midwife Led Units in each of its maternity units remain open, “with women able to go home soon after their birth if they and their baby are well”.

The board has remminded new and expectant mothers to follow UK Government guidance on not meeting or allowing visits from people outside of their household.