22 May 2022

Maternity partner restrictions at Kilkenny hospital due to 'infrastructural challenges'

Hospital and IEHG continuously working to see how restrictions can be further eased, including for scan


File photo

Restrictions on maternity partners at St Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny cannot be eased due to restrictive infrastructural challenges, the Ireland East Hospital Group (IEHG) says.

The IEHG says that national guidance is being adhered to by all maternity units in the Ireland East Hospital Group, and this includes advice provided by the local hospital infection prevention and control teams specific to the hospital.

"With the exception of the National Maternity Hospital, the three Regional Maternity Units in IEHG are part of a general hospital campus and are therefore not standalone maternity hospitals," says the IEHG.

"As a consequence these hospitals have specific infrastructural challenges where social distancing cannot be sufficiently met within the Covid guidelines while facilitating partners to attend with the maternity patients. Restrictions are in place to ensure that the hospitals are protecting all patients who may be required to attend the hospital, this includes a large number of patients who have not yet been vaccinated, including our maternity patients and their partners.

"The hospitals restrictive infrastructural challenges, particularly where wards are co-located with other patients and areas where spaces are not sufficient and contrary to Infection Prevention and Control guidance, we cannot further ease partner restrictions at this time.  However, work is ongoing to ensure that as much access as possible can be facilitated  in the coming weeks as more people from vulnerable groups are vaccinated.  These changes will be led by  Infection Prevention Control advice."

St Luke’s General Hospital Carlow/Kilkenny has worked on a solution which will facilitate partners into the 20-week scan by May 31. Partners can also attend active labour and theatre for scheduled Caesarean Sections.

Ireland East Hospital Group and St Luke’s General Hospital say they are continuously working to see how restrictions can be further eased for all maternity patients and their partners, as soon as possible.

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