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Maternity Services: Coronavirus

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 98708, tabled on 2 October 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his Department's guidance entitled Framework to assist NHS trusts to reintroduce access for partners, visitors and other supporters of pregnant women in English maternity services, published 8 September 2020, whether those NHS Trusts can apply for (a) funding or (b) other resources to support the reintroduction of familial access and maintain safety.

Answered on

14 October 2020

NHS England and NHS Improvement have made it clear that they expect all trusts to now use this Framework and consider how access can be safely reintroduced as a priority. Reintroducing visits is challenging during a pandemic, and the priority must remain the safety of all service users, staff and visitors.

The published Framework recommends a stepwise approach for trusts to take, following a meaningful and documented risk assessment, so any necessary changes can be made before relaxing current stringent approaches. Risk factors for trusts to consider include the local COVID-19 transmission rate and constraints with the hospital estate, which cannot be easily solved with funding. Additional advice has been made available through various networks to support trusts in applying the Framework to their local circumstances.