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Maternity Ward Restrictions must be eased- McGrath

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said he has been left appalled and deeply upset by the difficulties being caused by the continued policy of restricting partners access to our Maternity Wards.

While aware of the difficulties being experienced by thousands of women who's partners have not been allowed to be present for important scans and only allowed limited access during the birth, Deputy McGrath has said that the story of a constituent who lost her baby well into the pregnancy and received the devastating news alone after her partner was sent home having been refused entry was one of the worst stories he had heard in relation to our response to Covid 19.

“I am absolutely devastated for this family; for this young mother who had to receive such devastating news alone without the support of her partner and for the respect shown to the partner who was sent home as though his presence or feelings on the matter were irrelevant.

This is not a compassionate response or policy. To restrict partners access at such an important time in the lives of young couples, particularly for first time parents is devastating in the extreme.” Said Deputy McGrath 

Deputy McGrath who last week questioned the Minister for Health on the Policy and sought a review of the policy received a response from the Minister this week stating that it is a matter for the HSE and that they have been asked to respond directly to Deputy McGrath.

“Once again we see how Covid 19 restrictions are being implemented without consideration of the dire impact that they are having on personal experiences. To leave women who may be receiving devastating news with no support; to leave new mothers who may have experienced a very difficult pregnancy or birth with no help or family support from shortly after the birth until days later when the father is allowed access to collect his partner and new born child is simply not helpful.

The birth of a child, while an incredibly joyous time, can also be very taxing for young mothers particularly in cases where they have experienced difficult pregnancies. Indeed, mothers giving birth to twins are expected to give birth and then be left alone shortly after the birth to care for two new born babies without help or support for a number of days. This is just not acceptable.” Continued McGrath

Accusing the Minister of Health for passing the buck by referring the matter back to the HSE, Deputy McGrath said “I Questioned the Minister for Health on a matter of policy and it was referred to the HSE for answer. This is a case of the Minister for Health not taking accountability for such policies and passing the buck to avoid taking responsibility.”

While understanding the need for very strict visiting restrictions in hospitals to avoid the spread of Covid 19, he believes that a case must be made to allow partners access to support the mothers, take pressure off the nursing and care staff and be allowed very valuable time with their new-born.

“Having such restrictive measures in place is having devastating consequences particularly for those experiencing difficulties either prenatally or postnatally and I am appealing for a compassionate policy to be put in place.” Concluded McGrath