12th Sep 2021
The hospital said visiting hours would be “close to pre-pandemic levels” following a “significant uptake” in Covid-19 vaccination rates among patients.
From Monday, September 13th, those visiting hours will be 8am to 8pm each day.
The move came as the Department of Health announced on Saturday that there were 1,466 new cases of Covid-19.
In a statement yesterday, the hospital said it was “delighted to be able to announce a significant uptake in Covid-19 vaccination rates amongst its patient population”.
It said its most recent survey reported that 57 per cent of patients and 74 per cent of their partners were fully vaccinated.
In response to this significant improvement in vaccination rates, effective Monday September 13, 2021, the Rotunda will now be able to extend access hours for partners to 8.00am to 8.00pm each day. All other existing access controls to keep all patients safe continue to apply.
— The Rotunda Hospital (@RotundaHospital) September 11, 2021
“It also reflects the strong effort and lead being taken by the Rotunda in better informing patients on the very significant health benefits of Covid-19 vaccination during pregnancy,” the hospital said.
“In response to this significant improvement in vaccination rates, effective Monday September 13th, 2021, the Rotunda will now be able to extend visiting hours for partners to 8am to 8pm each day,” the Rotunda said.
The move comes after substantial backlash on social media following the screening of the first episode of The Rotunda this week with a mass of outpouring from parents and parents-to-be. The experience of attending the hospital as depicted on the show, was a misrepresentation.
Tomorrow night a new series of The Rotunda will air on RTÉ. Recorded during the pandemic at a time when partners were told to wait outside in the car park. Let that sink in. A TV show was considered more important than providing safe, compassionate care. #BetterMaternityCare
— Linda Kelly (@lindabtweeting) September 7, 2021
“Tomorrow night a new series of The Rotunda will air on RTÉ,” Linda Kelly of the #BetterMaternityCare group tweeted. “Recorded during the pandemic at a time when partners were told to wait outside in the car park. Let that sink in. A TV show was considered more important than providing safe, compassionate care.”
There are conflicting reports as to whether there were physical camera crews inside the hospital, with RTÉ and the Rotunda both stating this week that manned cameras were installed in the rooms. However, numerous patients claimed that they were approached by producers during the lockdown period when almost no visitation rights were allowed.
“I will never forget attending the Rotunda booking appointment alone & terrified after previous loss, seeing a woman who got bad news alone crying in the corridor, knowing that a TV crew was wandering around the hospital. Shameful. Absolutely shameful,” said one Twitter user.
I was sitting in my car in the car park of the Combe while my wife was in Labour. A woman (on her own) who was obviously after receiving bad news came out of the hospital and got into the car and burst into tears. My heart went out to her.
— Barry Clancy (@BarryClancy) September 7, 2021
Nevertheless, the move will be welcome after tough visitation rights have been in place for months in an effort to stop the spread of Covid during the pandemic.