For those that don’t know, as a result of the coronavirus crisis, mothers-to-be had to attend scans, go through most of their labour, and stay on a post-natal ward alone, without their birthing partner or any other visitors.
Recent Government guidance states that these restrictions can now be lifted, which is why, a few days ago, I wrote to the Chief Executive of Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, Fiona Noden, and asked her to reassure my concerned constituents, and the wider Bolton community, that access for partners, visitors and supporters of pregnant women in Bolton’s maternity services would be reintroduced.
I have now received a reply from Ms Noden, which says that Bolton Hospital will be “allowing one birthing partner to be with the expectant mother during her labour, on delivery suite and on the post-natal ward.”
However: “In relation to allowing women to be accompanied to their outpatient appointments, dating and anomaly scans the guidance states that this should only be introduced if safe to do so with appropriate social distancing; unfortunately our aging estate and facilities do not allow for this.”
Although this is not yet a full restoration of access to maternity services for partners and visitors, I hope that this will reassure Bolton’s mothers-to-be that they can have someone by their side throughout their labour and whilst they are on the post-natal ward.