Coronavirus: Partners allowed to antenatal appointments

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image captionThe changes will be rolled out "in the coming weeks"

Pregnant women are to be allowed to take a partner or nominated other to scheduled antenatal appointments under new guidelines.

Covid-19 measures in Wales have meant a woman could only be accompanied by a birthing partner during active labour.

Women can now be accompanied to their 12-week dating scan, early pregnancy clinic, anomaly scan or when visiting a foetal medicine department.

The measures are outlined in Welsh Government guidelines.

Chief nursing officer for Wales Jean Whites said: "These new arrangements will require modification to the physical environment and new ways of working in order to keep everyone safe.

"Therefore in some places these changes will not happen immediately, but will be introduced in the coming weeks across Wales."

In a video on Twitter, she said information from local health boards would tell women what to expect.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

The guidance says: "We are aware that lack of opportunities for partners to attend appointments such as ultrasound scans have caused distress for families at this time."

It says the nominated partner would preferably be from the same household or part of an extended household.

However a birthing partner can still only attend during "active" labour.

It says health boards and trusts should not return to "business as usual" and virtual visits should continue where possible.

But visiting, with agreement from the ward sister, can be allowed as long as visitors do not have any symptoms of Covid-19 and have not been knowingly exposed to someone with the virus in the past 14 days.

In non-coronavirus areas of hospitals, one parent or guardian can be at the bedside at a time for child inpatients and babies.

It says patients in the last days of their life can have up to two visitors at a time, for a specified amount of time, from the same household or part of an extended household.

Children and young people may visit a parent, guardian, carer or sibling in a healthcare setting and should be accompanied by one appropriate adult.

Coronavirus patients may receive visitors during their last days of life, if permission is sought in advance from the ward sister.

This may be up to two visitors, one at the bedside at a time, for a specified amount of time, preferably from the same household or part of an extended household.

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