NHS Highland Widens Hospital Visiting Hours
24th July 2019
NHS Highland plans to open up hospital visiting times so that patients can benefit from more flexible arrangements at the end of this month (July 2019).
Rather than having visiting hours at set times, the board's Welcome / Failte Initiative will see patients being able to ask friends, relatives and carers to visit at times that better suit everyone involved.
The board will implement the initiative - part of a national strategy by NHS Scotland to provide person-centred care - for all its hospitals across Highland and Argyll & Bute from Thursday 25th July 2019.
Kate Patience-Quate, the interim deputy director of Nursing and the Welcome / Failte Initiative lead, hopes the new open visiting hours would get rid of all the confusion around visiting patients/loved ones in hospital.
She said: "When you or a family member, friend or someone you care for is in hospital, it can be a worrying time.
“Contact with people who are close to you is important and family, friends and carers can have a key role in supporting you while in hospital and during your recovery.
“NHS Highland recognises the significance of these relationships and believes that family, friends and carers also have a role in supporting us to plan and deliver safe, effective and person-centred care."
Heidi May, the board’s director of Nursing, said: “The Welcome/Failte Initiative means that visiting arrangements will be flexible to meet the needs of individuals.
“We’ve worked closely with patients, their relatives, carers as well as our health and social care staff on this and we know it’s something people are really keen for us to pursue.
“There will be occasions when, for clinical reasons, visitors may be asked to come back later or move to another area of the ward for a short period. But I think everyone can understand that."
The health board has produced an information booklet, promotional banners, posters and social media posts to raise awareness of the open visiting hours changes.
For the first time in Highland GPs working in the area now have access to mentor support to help promote staff health and wellbeing. NHS Highland's Mentoring Scheme, which saw the first trained mentors graduate in 2016, was recently extended to include GPs as trained mentors and a group of 10 mentors were successful in graduating last month (February).
The University of the Highlands and Islands has welcomed its first cohort of students onto an innovative new midwifery course. Nineteen students gathered at the Centre for Health Science in Inverness on Monday 7 January 2019 to begin the shortened midwifery programme.
NHS Highland has created a handy list of telephone numbers to help improve access to healthcare services in Caithness - including a single point of contact number for community health and social care. The information is given on a laminated double-sided A4 flyer with timely advice about the health board's services and the relevant telephone numbers for these and associated services.
NHS Highland has agreed that the Caithness General Hospital will be heated by energy delivered by the wood fuelled district heating scheme in Wick. Supply of low cost renewable energy will begin immediately.
A ward at Caithness General Hospital has been closed to new admissions and visitors are being asked to stay away while staff deal with several cases of diarrhoea and vomiting. Bignold Wing currently has seven patients affected and samples have shown that norovirus is present in the ward.
Statement From NHS Education Scotland (NES) NES quality management visit, Caithness General Hospital. NHS Education Scotland (NES) is accountable to the General Medical Council (GMC) for assessing whether doctors in training are in an appropriate training environment. We carried out a quality management visit to Caithness General Hospital on Friday 13rd February to assess the quality of the learning experience and learning environment for postgraduate medical trainees in line with General Medical Council Standards. The visit was prompted by a shortage of substantive consultants in post and continued heavy reliance on locums and therefore the potential impact on the quality of training and supervision of doctors in training.
NHS Highland recently discussed the new Patients Rights Act. The Patient Rights (Scotland) Act 2011 aims to improve patients' experiences of using health services and to support people to become more involved in their health and health care.
The new Caithness District Partnership will meet in full for the second time on Friday 28 September, as part of the new arrangements under the Planning for Integration (P4i) partnership between the NHS and The Highland Council. Partners will consider a report from the NHS steering group, who are recommending a Stakeholder Engagement Plan.
NHS Highland has emerged as one of the top two health boards in Scotland in a national assessment of patient safety standards. The board has scored an "exceptional" 4.0 on a five-point scale set by the American-based Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), in conjunction with Healthcare Improvement Scotland.
The Henderson Maternity Unit at Caithness General Hospital has been re-accredited as Baby Friendly, which means it is internationally recognised by UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) as providing high quality support to mothers and babies. Staff at the Wick unit were originally presented with the prestigious Baby Friendly Award in March 2010.
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