06 Jul 2022

HSE respond to protest over Covid-19 Portlaoise hospital matenity restrictions

coronavirus covid-19

Protest at the Midland Regional Hospital in Portlaoise on Wednesday

HSE management has set out the provisions for couples who are set to have a child at the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise in the wake of a protest over Covid-19 restrictions at hospitals in Laois and elsewhere which curb the presence of partners.

A HSE spokesperson issued a statement on behalf of the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise after the protest on Wednesday, May 12.

"Maternity services in Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise restored partners attending for the anatomy scan on Tuesday 6th of April. The Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise have continued to facilitate partners attending for birth throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Partners are facilitated to attend once a woman is admitted to the delivery suite in labour and remains for the birth of the baby until discharge to the postnatal ward, the partner then accompanies the mother and baby to the postnatal ward staying for generally a further hour.

"Partners are also facilitated to be present in theatre at Caesarean Section for the birth of the baby. Maternity services in Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise have reintroduced scheduled visiting to the maternity ward since Monday 3rd May for antenatal and postnatal women, which is arranged by appointment generally this visit is scheduled for up to an hour.

"Scheduled visiting is facilitated in the special care baby unit," said the statement.

The hospital did not comment on what other changes may be made.

An alliance of protesters at Portlaoise and other hospitals say partners must not be treated as visitors.

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