Social Democrats TD Holly Cairns has called for the immediate rollout of a nationwide plan that would allow accompanying partners to attend maternity hospitals at all stages of pregnancy and labour.

She made her comments following the launch of a new visitor scheduling app at Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH), which has allowed for an easing of visitor restrictions.

Holly said:

“The initiative at CUMH is to be welcomed and I am glad to see some movement on the restrictions on partners at a leading maternity hospital. However, this needs to be part of a national conversation and the Government and HSE must outline a plan that acknowledges both partners as being essential at all stages of the pregnancy journey and during the entire birth process.

“Since last year, parents have faced a geographical lottery, with restrictions varying from hospital to hospital throughout the country. The guidelines for maternity hospitals have not been updated since last September and the situation is continuing to cause great stress and hardship for expectant parents, particularly in cases where there are complications in the pregnancy or tragic outcomes.

“It is vital that the Government finally brings clarity and certainty to these parents as it prepares to reopen parts of the economy and society in the weeks ahead.”

April 20, 2021

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