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"Father not allowed to stay with newborn or support mother"

About: Angliss Hospital Eastern Health

(as the patient),

I am pregnant with out first child and am disgusted by what I feel is the sexist attitude of the William Angliss Hospital. Whilst my husband is allowed to be present at the birth, representatives of the Maternity Ward will restrict him to visiting hours only. He does not expect accommodation or a meal but simply to remain by my side, should myself or the baby not be settled. He is happy to sit on a chair. They will not allow this.

I want my husband to have a chance to bond with our child as much as possible. We are a close couple and are rarely apart. This hospital is trying to separate us for one of the most momentous occasions of our lives.

We have been told that men pose an OHS risk to staff and other patients.

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Response from Jo Gatehouse, Director, Quality, Planning and Innovation (Acute Health and Consumer Participation and Patient Experience), Eastern Health 7 years ago
Jo Gatehouse
Director, Quality, Planning and Innovation (Acute Health and Consumer Participation and Patient Experience),
Eastern Health
Submitted on 18/10/2016 at 5:17 PM
Published on Care Opinion at 5:23 PM

picture of Jo Gatehouse

Dear Mim,

I am responding on behalf of our Chief Executive, David Plunkett who is not available this afternoon, but asked me to investigate your concerns and respond to you in relation to your experience at Eastern Health.

Firstly let me say that I am sorry that you did not feel that you received an appropriate response to your request to have your husband by your side following the birth of your baby. I understand that this would have been very upsetting for you and your husband.

The staff at Eastern Health do not want to separate your husband from you or your baby and understand what a significant event this is for all of you.

Whilst we do have visiting hours on all of our wards, our policy is to accommodate the specific needs of our patients. Visiting hours are flexible, 24-hour and patient directed wherever possible. Visiting hours at hospital sites are from 8.00am – 8.00pm, with open visiting hours (24 hours a day) for partners/carers to be negotiated on a case by case basis with the Unit Manager. I apologise if this was not explained to you clearly when you raised this issue.

I understand that you have raised your concerns with a number of staff at Eastern Health, including the Associate Program Director for the Women and Children's Program at Angliss Hospital and more recently the Director of Obstetrics and that arrangements have since been made that you are happy with. If this is not the case, please do not hesitate to contact me directly on

Again, I apologise for the distress that you and your husband experienced and wish you all the very best for the birth of your first child.

Kind Regards,


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