Hospitals set limits

By Charlotte Wooldridge | posted on March 26, 2020

STRICTER guidelines around hospital visits are being introduced to protect the community from COVID-19.

WA Country Health Service announced that in line with a directive provided by the WA Department of Health, maternity wards would now be limited to one designated support person per patient.

Albany mother Sarah Hulkes has a baby that’s only a few weeks away, and will be directly affected by these new regulations.

“I understand the whole thing, and I would hate to jeopardise anyone in there with me whether that’s the staff or anyone else in the hospital,” Ms Hulkes said.

“The only thing is for me I have such a big and tight family, so it would be devastating for me if I can’t even have [my husband] Cody and my mum in the room with me.”

The new directive means Ms Hulkes could only have one visitor throughout her stay at the maternity ward.

“I’m so close with my mum and she’s just such a great support person for me and being told that I can’t have her with me is quite upsetting,” she said.

“With the pregnancy, I had everything planned and it just throws you a bit.”

Not only will Ms Hulkes not have her mother visit, but her three-year-old son Pacey will have to wait at home to meet his new sibling.

“The only other thing I am upset about it my other son who’s three won’t be allowed to come and see me,” she said.

“It’s not only to meet his new sibling, but to not be able to come and see me will be really hard.”

The new measures are intended to stop the spread of the virus by limiting the number of people coming in and out of the hospital on a daily basis.

Ms Hulkes said that with such a large family group, the introduction of these restrictions would have a direct influence on reducing the spread of any illness.

“I have such a huge family that this will be effective, it’s just unfortunate that this is such a nice time that we can’t celebrate,” she said.

“I really think it’s not the hospital’s fault though, the people there are so awesome that I completely respect everything they’re doing to keep everyone safe.”