With many fathers of small and sick babies currently unable to visit them in neonatal care units due to covid restrictions, Clwyd West MS Darren Millar is calling for the current arrangements to be reviewed.
Darren said concerns have been raised by Bliss, the charity for babies that are born premature or sick, over the current restricted visiting arrangements at such facilities, which are preventing some parents, largely fathers, from sharing care responsibilities for their newborn.
Calling for a Statement on the situation during yesterday’s meeting of the Welsh Parliament, he said:
“The Minister will be well aware of the fact that there's been a significant impact on visiting arrangements to neonatal care facilities across the country as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the charity for babies that are born premature and sick, Bliss, has raised concerns about fathers being excluded from visiting and prevented from sharing care responsibilities for their newborns.
“We need an urgent statement on what action the Welsh Government might now be able to take through issuing more updated national guidance, given that the vaccination programme has been so successful and we've seen a significant fall in the number of COVID cases."
In her response, the Welsh Government's Trefnydd said health boards have flexibility within the current guidelines around visiting, adding “I'm sure that each health board will look, as you say, when the situation improves, to when they can expand the visiting times in those areas.”
Speaking afterwards Darren added:
“Those early days with your newborn are precious and fathers should not be missing out, particularly when their child is sick and the covid situation has improved so dramatically.”