FROM Monday, partners will not be able to attend routine 20-22 week scans at the four Maternity Hospitals/units in the South/South West Hospital Group, the HSE has said today.
The Group made the statement today, following ‘the surge in Covid-19 infections and the move to Level 5 restrictions’.
The hospitals affected include Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH), and HSE maternity hospitals in Waterford, Kerry and Tipperary.
‘The South/ South West Hospital Group are very mindful of the distress these restrictions may cause and in line with national guidance, we will review these measures on a weekly basis,’ the statement added.
‘The South/South West Hospital Group fully understands how challenging visiting restrictions at our four maternity hospitals have been,’ it continued. ‘However, in light of the move to Level 5 restrictions and the increased rate of transmission within the community there is a need to minimise footfall to our maternity units, to limit the risk of the virus spreading. The safety of women, their babies and maternity staff is central to the provision of our maternity services which must be continuously available when required by our patients.’
However, giving some hope to partners, it added that the birthing partner will still be able to attend as soon as the mother is in established labour; for the birth itself; for delivery by Caesarean section; can stay for some time in the immediate post birth period either in the labour ward or the theatre recovery, and when a baby is in the neonatal unit or neonatal intensive care unit one parent (at a time) can visit their baby – of note the neonatal intensive care unit visiting times are unrestricted.
‘We are sensitive to specific situations regarding pregnancy loss, stillbirth and unexpected complications and we have adapted our visiting restrictions in these situations,’ it added. ‘All patients who receive a pregnancy loss diagnosis are to be offered the opportunity for her partner to attend at that time. Her partner can attend all subsequent visits.’