Partners of pregnant women across north Cumbria are now able to attend all antenatal scans, following an earlier relaxation of the restrictions imposed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Expectant mothers having antenatal scans at the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven, The Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and the Penrith Birthing Centre are now able to have their partners by their side as the scan takes place.

The North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, which runs all three sites, had earlier this month allowed partners of pregnant women to attend the 12 and the 20 week appointments.

The newly-relaxed rule only extends to one other adult in attendance alongside the mother-to-be.

All visitors must continue to abide by the trust's strict infection control measures.

This includes the wearing of face masks.

Scan rooms will continue to be cleaned thoroughly between all women attending, and any additional seats within the room that partners sit in would be part of this process of cleaning.

Amanda Kennett, the trust's associate director of midwifery, said that the decision had been made only after careful consideration.

"We are pleased to announce we are now welcoming partners or one support person from the same household or social bubble to attend all antenatal scans across our hospitals," she said.

"We will keep this under review going forward to ensure the health and safety of our mums-to-be, their families and our staff remains our number one priority.”

All other visitor restrictions across the trust remain in place at this time.

There are some exceptions where visitors will be permitted, including; for patients who are receiving end-of-life care, for birthing partners in maternity units and for parents or legal guardians in the children’s unit.