NHS Highland has announced one supportive partner will be allowed to accompany mums-to-be whilst attending scans and antenatal clinic appointments at Raigmore Hospital.
The maternity unit at the north’s busiest hospital has been reorganised to create additional waiting space to allow for partners or a family member or friend to be there to provide support during the appointments.
Under restrictions due to the pandemic, partners have not been allowed to attend.
Katherine Sutton, chief officer for acute services for NHS Highland, said: “The midwifery and scan team at Raigmore Hospital are delighted to announce that partners can now safely attend to observe and take part in this part of the antenatal care with our ladies.
“To ensure we can keep everyone as safe as possible we would ask that you arrive on time to avoid any congestion being created within the waiting areas.”
NHS Highland has requested that anybody experiencing a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss or change in smell or taste, to alert the maternity department to create alternative arrangements.
On arrival, those attending appointments will be asked to wear a face covering and to use antibacterial gel when entering and leaving both the building and department.
Immediately after scans have taken place, partners will be asked to leave the department.
Mrs Sutton added: “We appreciate it has been a difficult and disappointing time for women and their partners who have been affected by the visiting restrictions in place at the scan department.
“However, the safety of mothers, partners and staff is our top priority.
“I am pleased that we are now able to welcome partners back and thank all that may have been impacted whilst the restrictions were in place for their understanding and patience.”
Additional family members will not be permitted to attend, including babies and children.