Protecting human rights in childbirth

Registered Charity Number 1151152

Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board legally challenged over stringent visiting restrictions

With our partners Irwin Mitchell LLP, Birthrights has today written to Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board with a letter of claim before judicial review, in response to their policy on visiting restrictions in antenatal and postnatal services.

Restrictions currently include the exclusions of birth partners from inpatient antenatal and postnatal wards, and from outpatient appointments and any nonroutine scans.

Birthrights first wrote to Cwm Taf in September 2021 expressing concern about the changes to visiting arrangements in maternity services.

The letter requested disclosure of relevant documents related to the policy to exclude partners from inpatient antenatal and postnatal wards and asked for an urgent response by 29 September 2021. A response was provided on 1 November 2021 and enclosed limited extracts of the decision-making documents. In response Birthrights has now sent a letter before action in accordance with pre-action protocol for judicial review.

Maria Booker, Programmes Director at Birthrights said:

‘There is now significant evidence about the adverse impact of visiting restrictions during the pandemic, most notably by health economist Rachel Hunter, about the mental health cost of visiting restrictions on pregnant women/birthing people. Cwm Taf’s visiting restrictions are in stark contrast with the restrictions in other areas of society and indeed its neighbouring health board. Wales is currently at alert level 0 and has been since 7 August 2021. We call for Cwm Taf to reconsider their restrictions.’

If you have been affected by the visiting restrictions at Cwm Taf, please contact us at info@birthrights.org.uk.