October 20, 2021 -- Acute Care Site Access for Doulas
The Doula Association of Alberta (DAA) has received clarified guidance from Alberta Health Services regarding a patient's right to request a second Designated Support Person in maternity environments at acute care facilities:
Additional designated support persons are not all accepted, and must be requested and approved.
Requests for additional designated support should be made in advance whenever possible via pre-planning forms (completed by primary care providers) and/or direct communication with the delivering site.
During business hours: requests for an additional Designated Support Person should be forwarded for approval to the Site Command Post (or Executive Director) during business hours. After business hours / Labors actively in progress: requests can be approved through administration on call.
Rationale to deny an additional designated support person should be based on the individual situation and the ability to maintain a safe environment for the staff, patient, and infant. This may include: o The designated support people are not fully vaccinated. o The designated support person has recently travelled from other provinces and/or internationally. o The designated support person has had recent close contact or exposure to a COVID-19 positive person. o The designated support person has ANY influenza or respiratory like illness symptoms. o If adequate physical distancing between patient parties cannot be maintained (as already identified in the current Visitation Guidance, eg: in curtained triage areas).
This clarification is for guidance only; there may still be variable interpretations. If your client meets a denial without justification, they may request rationale as well as ask that a Director review their request in the absence of a Site Command Post to adjudicate.
Alberta doulas are eager to maintain normal operations in hospitals across the province, where more than 90 percent of all births take place. Any future updates to acute care site accessibility and public health guidance will be released by the DAA as necessary. ------------------------------------- For more information: Lindsey Bowns Public Relations Manager, Doula Association of Alberta Media Cell: 403.971.8499 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.doulaassociationofalberta.com