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Partner visiting slots on UMHL postnatal wards extended to two hours

AUGUST 31st, 2021

Another step in the ongoing easing of partner access restrictions at University Maternity Hospital Limerick takes effect from Wednesday, September 1st, with an increase in scheduled visiting slots on the postnatal wards from 45 minutes to two hours.

The scheduled two-hour visiting slots will be offered to nominated partners of women on wards M1 and M2, from 2pm to 4pm or 6pm to 8pm daily.

This is the latest in a series of measures taken in recent months to gradually ease pandemic restrictions on access to partners of women in UMHL, in line with national guidance on partner access to maternity units.

We acknowledge that COVID-19 access restrictions, while necessary, have been difficult for maternity service users and their loved ones, and we continue to review these safety measures at UMHL on a weekly basis.

We continue to plan for the safe, controlled and phased relaxation of restrictions, and to ensure all processes are safely introduced and managed.

UMHL allows partners in the following areas, regardless of vaccination status, following the COVID-19 questionnaire and temperature screening:

  • Labour Ward: throughout labour and delivery
  • Elective and Emergency C-Section
  • Anomaly scan
  • EPAU ( Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit)
  • Compassionate grounds
  • Antenatal Ward: 45-minute slots
  • Postnatal Wards: 2-hour slots
  • NICU ( Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) / HDU (High Dependency Unit): 30-minute slots
  • Emergency high risk admissions
  • 12-Week scan

At all times, we seek to balance the competing requirements for partners to be present and supporting women, while giving priority to the safety, welfare and privacy of all women and infants in our care, and our staff.

In taking decisions to implement or relax restrictions, UMHL has regard to three primary factors: the rate of COVID-19 transmission within the local community, the number of staff in the hospital and the possibility of those staff becoming unwell, and the infrastructure of the hospital site. We also continue to note concerns about the transmissibility of the Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

While these restrictions have been difficult, they have been necessary, and effective. We are grateful for the cooperation of our patients and their families and the wider community.