Five maternity units are STILL forcing mothers to have babies alone – despite falling Covid numbers
- Maternity wards in England still ban pregnant women from being a support partner
- These include Walsall Manor Hospital and William Harvey Hospital in Ashford
- Last night MPs criticized the maternity wards for refusing to give in
Five maternity units in England still prohibit pregnant women from having a partner for support, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
While the majority of NHS hospitals have changed their policies to a win for this newspaper’s Lone Births campaign, a handful of partners continue to ban them from attending essential scans – despite falling Covid rates.
Last night, MPs criticized the maternity wards for refusing to admit it, for acting in a way that “borders on the criminal.” In April, NHS England issued new guidelines calling for ‘urgent action’ from the remaining trusts to allow partners.
The maternity wards that continue to prohibit partners from attending essential appointments include: Walsall Manor Hospital, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, Tunbridge Wells Hospital and Medway Maritime Hospital, according to data from the NHS in England disclosed to The Mail on Sunday.
The maternity wards that continue to prohibit partners from attending essential appointments include Walsall Manor Hospital (pictured)
The guidance makes it clear that partners must be able to attend appointments at ‘all stages’ of the pregnancy – including scans.
One woman, who has her 12-week scan at Medway this week, said the “ fear paralyzes her, ” knowing she has to face it alone. She said, ‘I’ve had two previous miscarriages so this child is in huge demand.’
A week ago, she was hospitalized with ‘severe bleeding’ – but the hospital in Kent still doesn’t allow her partner on the scan.
Conservative MP Alicia Kearns said: ‘It is a great shame that some NHS trusts still believe they can justify forcing women to undergo scans or miscarriages on their own. It borders on the criminal.
‘Our clinicians have been vaccinated and a quarter of all adults in the UK have had both vaccines, so there is no excuse. Fortunately, the vast majority of NHS trusts have made sense, and I am so relieved that our campaign has saved so many families from unnecessary trauma. ‘
Nadine Dorries, the Minister of Motherhood, praised The Mail on Sunday’s campaign
Nadine Dorries, the Minister of Motherhood, praised The Mail on Sunday’s campaign.
She said: ‘We know that partners, friends and family members provide essential emotional and physical support to mothers during pregnancy, and we have always said we wanted to make sure the Covid-19 measures were not a second longer than necessary.
Mail on Sunday’s campaign to end single births has rightly drawn attention to this problem and the anxiety that can cause women who have to go it alone.
NHS England published further guidelines in April, providing more advice to trusts to ensure they can safely support visits.
“We know many trusts are already taking these steps, but we’re working to make sure families have a consistent experience across the board.”
The guidance has made it clear to hospitals that ‘everything must be done’ so that partners can be present at all stages of pregnancy and birth since December.
Despite this, some have only recently changed their policies. The Surrey and Sussex maternity ward has only allowed partners to attend at all stages since April 12.
NHS England said, “Hospitals must ensure that women are safely accompanied at every stage of their pregnancy journey, including for scans, and the vast majority of maternity units do this.”