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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.

 

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