Dear Colleague,

It is now two weeks since the start of the COVID-19 crisis. Since the beginning of this challenging period, the OAA has worked closely with the RCoA, RCOG, AoA, FICM and ICS to support colleagues and provide as much information as we can. The updated RCOG document can be found here.  The RCoA, AoA, FICM and ICS Covid-19 guidance hub can be found on their collaborative website.

Today we published advice regarding PPE to be worn when managing pregnant women with known or suspected COVID-19 and when and how to don and doff. Many units are reporting shortages of PPE equipment, and we must use what is available appropriately.

We want to gather information about staffing arrangements for anaesthetic cover for labour wards during this period. We plan to send a concise survey to all Lead Obstetric Anaesthetists in the coming week, and we will repeat the survey at regular (but not too frequent) intervals. We know you are all incredibly busy, but we would be very grateful if you would complete the questionnaire. Initial enquiries have already revealed several themes such as the provision of a shadow rota to cover staff absence, 24-hour presence of senior staff and in some cases dividing the workforce on a weekly basis into those dealing with infected and non-infected cases. We have heard instances where staff have been diverted from obstetrics. This is neither government policy, nor ethically sound, and we fully support the maintenance of anaesthetic services to obstetrics.

Finally, the OAA is developing a list of 'frequently asked questions' about obstetric issues and COVID19, and we hope to launch this in the next week.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at secretariat@oaa-anaes.ac.uk.
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