"No plan" to extend maternity hospital access to fully vaccinated partners 3 months ago

"No plan" to extend maternity hospital access to fully vaccinated partners

The plans are unchanged.

The plan to extend maternity hospital access to partners who are fully vaccinated has been turned down, the HSE has confirmed.

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Calls for the partners of expectant mothers who are fully vaccinated to be allowed attend maternity appointments will not go ahead as there is now "no plan" to introduce this.

Expectant mothers and fathers from around the country have faced severe restrictions since the beginning of the pandemic, and it looks like visiting hours will not be extended for partners, even if they are fully vaccinated.

Currently, at the discretion of each hospital, birth partners are allowed to accompany their partner during labour, at the 20 week scan and after the birth, but for all other appointments, they must not attend.

The restrictions at the moment are at the discretion of each maternity unit, with each of the 19 maternity hospitals across the country following rules decided by each individual hospital manager.

Calls for these restrictions to be changed have been ongoing since they were first introduced, but this small change is all that is in place for the time being.

Mary-Jo Biggs, the general manager of the National Women and Infants Health Programme, told the Irish Examiner: "If these guidance protocols cannot be met, the hospital should maintain and update their risk register and review them regularly.

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"Where there are site-specific restrictions, these should be communicated to patients. As these guidelines are to be reviewed for implementation at local level, they therefore cannot be binding.

"There currently is no plan to introduce provisions for fully vaccinated partners to attend for extended periods."

The HSE will be reviewing hospitals and maternity units' level of restrictions that are in place this week.