By Rachael Grealish
After months of uncertainty expectant mothers will finally be able to attend antenatal scans with their partner – but only for 12 and 20 week scans.
Partners of pregnant women across North Cumbria are now able to attend antenatal scans taking place at West Cumberland Hospital, The Cumberland Infirmary and Penrith Birthing centre.
There will be a phased approach to this easing of restrictions with attendance of one adult (from the woman’s social bubble) permitted to accompany at the 12 week and 20 week scan.
This will allow clinics to assess infection prevention control measures of waiting areas with increased footfall through the areas and to put measures in place to allow for increased capacity.
All visitors must adhere to infection control measures, which includes wearing of face masks in accordance with Trust Infection Prevention Control guidance.
Scan rooms will continue to be cleaned thoroughly between all women attending at present in accordance with Infection Prevention Control measures.
Any additional seats within the room that partners sit in would be part of this process of cleaning.
However, any mother-to-be who has experienced these scans alone prior to this will still not be able to bring a partner with them to any following growth scan – despite missing out on partners in 12 and 20 week scans.
While this has been welcome news to many people, some women have been left disgruntled by this news as one commented: “This is crazy I don’t understand the difference between them coming to a 12 week scan or a growth scan. Be nice for my partner to see his twins before they arrive considering they’re as much his as they are mine.”
Another said: “Unfair u [sic] weren’t allowed in, they should do them for all the dads that missed out while they were still messing about… plenty of other hospitals were letting the dads in…”
The NCIC provided The Herdwick News with a comment on these changes saying: “We understand that many expectant mothers and partners have been left disappointed by the restrictions and we are sorry for the distress this may have caused.
“This was a decision which was not taken lightly but for the safety of our patients and staff.
“The Trust has followed national and local guidance as well as closely monitoring local infection rates and outbreaks, which have shaped our decisions in regards to allowing visitors to our sites.”
In regards the the slight change in rules Amanda Kennett, Associate Director of Midwifery at, North Cumbria Integrated Care, said: “After continually reviewing national and local issues, we are pleased to announce we are now in a position to be able to allow partners or one support person from the same household or social bubble to attend 12 and 20 week antenatal scans across our hospitals.
“As the health and safety of our mums-to-be, their families and our staff remains our number one priority, we ask that accompanying adults only attend the scan itself and not the appointments held directly before or after.
“I appreciate it has been very difficult for expectant mums and their partners while restrictions have been in place and we thank them for their continued understanding during this very difficult time.”
All other visitor restrictions across the Trust remain in place at this time.
There are some exceptions where visitors will be permitted, including; For patients who are receiving end-of-life care, For birthing partners in maternity units and for parents or legal guardians in the children’s unit.