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WATCH: Virtual tours only at maternity ward due to data protection, infection control and privacy

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DATA PROTECTION rules, privacy needs, and infection control procedures are being blamed for the end of the real life tours of Guernsey's maternity ward for expectant parents.

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Instead an online 'virtual tour' of the Loveridge ward is now available so that soon-to-be parents can get a feel for the ward and have an idea about where they and their baby will be cared for during and after labour.

Maternity Ward Tour

The real life tours were stopped in July in this year, and there have been concerns expressed that a virtual tour is not as comprehensive for people about to undergo a life-changing, painful, stressful, overwhelming, and often very daunting experience.

The change does bring the Princess Elizabeth Hospital into line with UK hospitals because nationally very few maternity wards still conduct such tours.

In the five minute film, which is set to soothing music, there is a guided walk-through right from the entrance door and through the maternity ward.

Viewers are shown around the assessment rooms, day room for families, the ante-natal area, the birthing rooms, the pool room, and the neonatal intensive care unit.

The video also includes a run through of the staff parents will encounter during the birthing process.

A spokesperson for the Health & Social Care committee said the video was an innovative, online solution to some of the challenges previously faced by the ward.

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'Until earlier this year, tours of large groups of people were organised as the only means by which expectant parents could see what the ward looked like.'

'However, this option presented issues relating to infection control, privacy and increasingly, data protection.'

'The virtual tour removes any such concerns, while still providing a straightforward means for parents to get an idea of what the ward has to offer.'

Parents who have specific concerns or questions about an upcoming birth can still discuss these with Maternity Services and where appropriate, individual visits to the ward can be arranged.

HSC is welcoming all feedback, however it insists that the top priority is always ensuring patients, including new mothers and their babies, have a positive and safe experience and the very best care.

Helen Bowditch

By Helen Bowditch
News reporter

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