A HOSPITAL trust has announced partners will now be welcome to once again attend maternity scans.

From Monday, September 14, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust will allow partners to join their pregnant partner towards the end of the routine 12-week scan – known as the ‘dating’ scan – appointment.

However, the move will not include the 20 week scan.

This move follows a reluctant decision made in April to prevent partners from attending all maternity scans due to concerns over potential Covid-19 infection.

The policy has been under constant review, with the trust now being confident its robust procedures will ensure the safety of mums-to-be, partners and staff.

Jayne Pailor, radiology and medicine service manager, said: “Asking partners not to attend maternity scans was a tough decision. We now feel secure to safely accommodate partners in the final five minutes of the 12-week scan appointment."

“We’d like to thank all our mums-to-be and their partners for their understanding and patience during this difficult time.”

Safety measures in place include a dedicated waiting area for partners where they will be asked to remain until called into the screening room.

All expectant mothers and their partners are reminded of the need to wear masks/face coverings, to wash their hands before entering the hospital and use hand gels. Anyone with any symptoms of Covid-19 should not come to hospital.

Unfortunately, the increased safety measures cannot also accommodate partners at the 20-week, known as the ‘anomaly’ scan. This is under constant review.