AIMS calls for clearer guidance from NHS England on lifting partner restrictions in maternity

AIMS, as part of a coalition of campaigning organisations including Birthrights, the BirthBliss Academy, the Fatherhood Institute, Make Birth Better and Pregnant then Screwed, has written to NHS England calling for them, as a matter of urgency, to issue clearer guidance to Trusts on removing restrictions on partners or other supporters attending maternity services. The letter calls for Trusts to be advised that "A partner of choice should be seen as an “essential visitor” and should be permitted to attend all scans, antenatal appointments, induction of labour, assessment (triage) of labour, a significant number of hours per day on inpatient wards and in neonatal units, and that a second birth partner should be accommodated where possible."

This is particularly important at a time when, as highlighted in our recent press release not only have many Trusts so far failed to reverse their restrictions in line with the guidance from NHS England on reintroducing access for partners and supports in maternity services, but as many as one in four intend to reinstate restrictions unchanged in the event of a local or national rise in infections, and some have already done so.

If you are being personally affected by the restrictions, please use one of our template letters to write to your Trust and copy your local MP, or if you are a local birth activist, please adapt this template campaigning letter to lobby your Trust.

The full text of the letter to NHS England is here


AIMS supports all maternity service users to navigate the system as it exists, and campaigns for a system which truly meets the needs of all.
AIMS does not give medical advice, but instead we focus on helping women to find the information that they need to make informed decisions about what is right for them, and support them to have their decisions respected by their health care providers. The AIMS Helpline volunteers will be happy to provide further information and support. Please email helpline@aims.org.uk or ring 0300 365 0663.

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