Women going by way of IVF remedy at an NHS fertility clinic in Glasgow will lastly be allowed to take their companions to medical appointments.
It comes greater than two years after Covid restrictions had been launched and 4 months after guests had been welcomed to all different wards at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.
Patients say they felt unsupported and overwhelmed throughout consultations and medical procedures.
The rules shall be lifted on Monday.
NHS Greater and Glasgow and Clyde stated it wanted to “strike a balance” between defending sufferers and employees and offering the very best care potential.
Kimberley Harney, 30, conceived by way of IVF in September 2021.
Her husband, Scott, was not together with her for appointments together with when she was informed whether or not she was efficiently responding to remedy, when she underwent basic anaesthetic for egg retrieval, or when the embryo was implanted in her womb.
“I was sobbing, hormonal and stressed – I could have been doing with having someone else at the appointments with me,” she informed BBC Scotland.
Kimberley went by way of the scans, injections and surgical procedures alone.
“It’s not exactly nice, it’s very invasive and you never know how you will feel. It’s not a nice experience,” she stated.
“Partners weren’t even allowed in the waiting room, Scott couldn’t play any part in my treatment and the only time he was even allowed into the clinic was to give a sperm sample and collect me after my aesthetic.
“You are grateful to have the remedy however it’s so tough to undergo it by yourself. Going to appointments your self, it simply is not the identical as watching the egg being implanted collectively.”
Kimberley gave birth to her son, Zak, in May but she knows other women who have gone through several failed IVF attempts without their partner holding their hand.
She stated: “I can not think about being informed you have not responded to remedy, after which having to depart the clinic by yourself and inform your companion.”
During the height of the pandemic women who successfully conceived had to attend appointments alone and there were limits on how long their partners could remain on the ward after the birth.
However these restrictions were lifted several months ago.
And there have been no rules in place in Scotland to refuse visitors to any other ward of a hospital since April.
Claire, a current patient of the Assisted Conception Service at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, said she had endured months of treatment on her own.
“As time progresses and investigations turn into extra invasive, it has taken a big emotional toll on each of us, with my husband changing into annoyed at not having the ability to assist me when it’s most wanted,” she stated.
“If my husband was allowed to be with me it might present important assist, not solely emotionally, however when it comes to absorbing vital data when all of it turns into a bit of overwhelming.
“Although it is me who needs the investigations and tests, it is my husband and I going through this together.”
‘High stage of security’
The Glasgow well being board apologised for any “distress or inconvenience” brought on by the coverage.
A spokesperson stated: “We need to ensure that we strike a balance between protecting our patients, their relatives and our staff, while continuing to provide the best person-centred care possible.
“While companions have been in a position to accompany the affected person to particular appointments, corresponding to egg assortment and being pregnant scans, to make sure we might preserve excessive ranges of security in addition to maximise the variety of sufferers we might see, we restricted companions’ attendance at different extra routine appointments.
“We are aware of the difficulties this might have caused for couples using our services, and we would like to apologise for any resulting distress or inconvenience.
“However, we’re happy to announce that, from Monday eighth August, all restrictions on the Assisted Conception Service shall be eliminated and companions will have the ability to attend all appointments as soon as extra.”