Kilkenny maternity unit remains off-limits to partners
Partners of expecting mothers will continue to be excluded from participating in scans and check-ups at St Luke’s General Hospital as the Kilkenny hospital continues to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Last week the Government and the Health Service Executive (HSE) bowed to pressure and allowed partners of expectant mothers attend the milestone 20-week scan.
However, management at St Luke’s confirmed that the maternity unit that serves Kilkenny and Carlow is not yet in a position to allow partners to be present for scans.
A hospital spokesperson said: “The Maternity Units in the Ireland East Hospital Group, which includes Wexford General Hospital, St Luke’s General Hospital and Regional Hospital Mullingar, along with all their staff take the care and safety of its patients, babies and staff extremely seriously.
“We understand and are mindful that the restrictions which have had to be implemented since the onset of the pandemic have had a significant emotional impact on all the new mothers, their partners and extended families.
“Our priority at all times is to protect patients and new born babies from any possibility of acquiring Covid 19, protecting our limited staff and ensuring that we can continue to provide this critical service to all the patients we serve.
“Unfortunately, these hospitals have a very small Maternity Unit with limited ultra-sonographers.
“Should an ultra-sonographer become a close contact or contract Covid 19, this would severely impact our services and would have a detrimental impact on our ability to carry out critical services in these hospitals.
“Should an appropriate solution be found where they can lift restrictions and meet all infection prevention and control guidance, they will then revise their current recommendation,” the spokesperson said.
The IEHG confirmed exceptions can be made on compassionate grounds.