Yvonne Young, Clinical Midwife Specialist and Aideen Cassidy, staff nurse.
Partners of pregnant women will be able to resume attending 20-week scans at Portlaoise hospital following a Covid-19 risk assessment.
The ability to maintain essential services has been paramount in the Maternity Department at the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise during the pandemic.
In order to adhere to national guidance and ensure adequate social distancing, clinics were reorganised and capacity limitations were introduced in waiting areas at the hospital.
A statement said the Maternity Department has undertaken a risk assessment to support the restoration of a partner accompanying a woman to her (20 weeks) anatomy scan appointment. It said Women attending now have this option following the most recent advice from the HSE.
Maureen Revilles is the Director of Midwifery, Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise.
“We know that 2020 has been very hard for mothers and partners attending our service. The Covid-19 restrictions are in place to keep women, infants and staff safe. We have had no mothers or babies adversely affected by Covid-19, but we must remain vigilant to reduce and avoid infection occurring.
"While we are extending our access arrangements for scans to include a partner, we ask our mothers, their partners and families to continue to work with us to contain the spread of this virus. The people of Laois and surrounding counties have been proactive and supportive in this ongoing fight against Covid-19 resulting in cases remaining low.
"With the easing of restrictions, we may see an increase in infection rates. Therefore, we cannot be complacent, it is in our power to do everything we can to reduce our contacts, to wash our hands regularly, maintain physical distancing and wear a mask to reduce and stop the spread of this virus," she said.
The HSE says it is very important that women who are attending with partners ensure the following;
1. Women or partners who are displaying any Covid-19symptoms must not attend for an appointment. Please telephone the hospital 057 8691364 to alert staff in order to make appropriate arrangements for you.
2. Each person attending the outpatient's department has a temperature screen at the entrance to the OPD. Women and their partner attending the 20-week anatomy scan will be required to complete a questionnaire relating to Covid 19.
3. A partner should not attend this appointment if he/she is a close or casual contact of someone diagnosed with Covid-19
4. Women and their partners should adhere to national guidance by wearing a facemask, keeping a 2 metre physical distance and hand hygiene.