VISITING hours have been increased by one hour for birth partners visiting York Hospital.

York and Scarborough NHS Foundation Trust's maternity units will be offering three hour slots between 8am to 8pm.

It comes after mothers raised concern over anxiety during birth after their partner was not allowed to stay with them. 

It said it can only allow one birth partner in any of the unit's bays at any one time.

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A spokesperson for the Trust's maternity units said: "We understand that some women feel anxious about not being able to have their birth partner with them throughout their time in our maternity unit and would like to update you on the current position.

"The safety of women, their families and our staff is our absolute priority and we are working hard to ensure we can increase the time that birth partners can be present.

"While other units may appear to offer more flexibility/time, this is likely to be because the layout of their ward areas is conducive to the social distancing guidance we are currently working to.

"At the moment, one birth partner can attend in any of our bays at any one time and so we stagger the times across the afternoon to facilitate this.

"We are absolutely committed to supporting women, including those who may feel anxious by an increased exposure to other people’s birth partner.

"We hope to be in a position soon where we can offer all day access again on the ward areas and are working through the issues with our infection prevention and estates colleagues. We will update you as soon as we can."