CONCERNS have been raised over maternity health in Glasgow as many appointments continue to take place over the phone – despite an easing of restrictions.

It comes after some women reported being invited for their initial booking appointments via phone, while others were offered face-to-face dates. During the meeting, the new mum is often quizzed on her medical history and her partner’s, while typical procedures, such as blood pressure and tests for sexually transmitted diseases are carried out.

This data goes towards determining the “pathway” of the pregnancy – a system designed to predict whether she will experience any difficulties.

READ MORE: Glasgow City Council spends £400K on minibus hire for binmen

A newly pregnant midwife, who asked not to be named, said: “When I called to arrange my appointment, which would take place at around the 10-week mark, I was a little disheartened to hear it would take place on the phone on June 21 given we can all meet in the pub. I have patients who are not high-risk and were given face-to-face appointments in March, April and May, while restrictions were much tighter.”

Campaigners urged NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to listen to the wishes of patients.

A spokeswoman for Birth Rights said: "Any change to maternity services should be made in consultation with service users.

"Whilst some women and birthing people may well prefer online appointments, others will not. We trust that the board have thought carefully about who is excluded by online appointments and how they affect the ability to have open conversations about difficult topics such as domestic violence.

"We urge the board to ensure face to face maternity appointments remain an option for those who want them."

A spokeswoman for NHSGGC said: "The past 14 months have been difficult for everyone, not least pregnant women and new mums who have experienced their pregnancy journey during a world pandemic.

"Throughout this time Maternity Services in GGC have done everything we could to make the whole experience feel as safe and special as possible for all women, their families as well as our staff.

READ MORE: Mum's NHS miscarriage unit bid takes leap forward

“During the pandemic, many of the women in maternity services had their booking appointment by phone, around 10 weeks’ gestation.

“Those women who were deemed high risk – either due to their age or other risk factors – were prioritised for face-to-face appointments. However, women who had not received the initial face-to-face booking appointment were reviewed by a midwife [in person] at 12 weeks.

“Plans are in place now as we move through the pandemic to bring all women in face-to-face for their booking appointment.”