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Coronavirus: Uncertainty over maternity care causing distress

Women say the uncertainty surrounding maternity services during the coronavirus outbreak is "making a stressful situation harder".

The Royal College of Midwives says services may need to be reduced due to COVID-19.

Like many areas in the health sector, staff shortages caused by sickness and workers self-isolating are impacting resources, the college adds.

The BBC asked a group of NHS trusts and boards across the UK about the services they are able to provide during the coronavirus pandemic. Nine trusts in England, five boards in Scotland and one trust in both Wales and Northern Ireland responded.

All 16 bodies said one birth partner could be present during labour, but just over a quarter of those asked are allowing partners on the postnatal ward following the birth. Around a third of trusts and boards that spoke to the BBC are now allowing home births.

In the weeks after a birth, midwives and health visitors are now heavily relying on virtual communication to provide families with postnatal support. Home visits are mostly still happening, but one trust in London said it only allows face-to-face contact when it is "absolutely essential".

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Source: BBC News, 24 April 2020

Read Patient Safety Learning's latest blog: Home births, fears and patient safety amid COVID-19


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