Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 22nd July 2020.

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Photo of Alex Sobel Alex Sobel Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to issue updated guidance on the attendance by (a) partners, (b) friends and (c) doulas at midwifery appointments for pregnant women.

Photo of Nadine Dorries Nadine Dorries Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The National Health Service is making arrangements to ensure that women are supported and cared for safely through pregnancy, birth and the period afterwards during this pandemic.

Decisions on partners attending scans and appointments is subject to local discretion by trusts and other NHS bodies. Local maternity teams will be able to advise women on their policy on partners attending antenatal appointments including scans.

Guidance produced by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is clear that women should be encouraged to have one birth partner, who has no symptoms of COVID-19, present with them during any type of labour and birth, unless the birth occurs under general anaesthetic. The guidance is reviewed on a weekly basis in light of any new evidence or changes in policy.

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