Longer visiting times for hospital wards

Both families believe mistakes were made at Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire.
Both families believe mistakes were made at Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire.

NHS Ayrshire & Arran is introducing more flexible visiting times across University Hospital Ayr and University Hospital Crosshouse.

From 1 November 2016 friends and family will be able to visit hospital patients any time between 2pm and 8pm.

A statement from NHS Ayrshire and Arran said: “We know that evidence suggests longer, more flexible visiting opportunities lead to a shorter length of stay in hospital and enhance the mental and physical wellbeing of patients.

“Feedback from recent trials of the new visiting hours, along with results from patient and relatives’ experience questionnaires highlighted that a large percentage of patients and their families supported the introduction of flexible visiting hours.”

Community hospitals already have flexible visiting times.

Professor Hazel Borland, Nurse Director, NHS Ayrshire & Arran, commented: “The introduction of more flexible visiting times enables friends and family to be more involved in their loved one’s care. This change is part of our work to continuously improve the experience for our patients, visitors and staff.”

During these more flexible visiting hours, there may be times when visitors are asked to leave the ward. These include:

when staff need to provide personal care;

when staff need to treat or speak to patients in private;

if patients need to leave the ward for tests; or

if visitors’ behaviour disrupts other patients or staff.