Staff and visitors have welcomed the move to introduce more flexible visiting times in Forth Valley hospitals. It is thought the change will aid the recovery process and lead to improved access to parking facilities.
From the end of March people will be able to visit their loved ones in Forth Valley Royal Hospital and our four community hospitals – Falkirk, Stirling, Clackmannanshire and Bo’ness – from 11.30am until 8.00pm, ever day. Inpatient mental health wards will be open from 3.00pm until 8.00pm, seven days a week.
The decision to allow extended visiting follows a pilot in three wards at Forth Valley Royal Hospital – neonatal, medical and gynaecology – and one ward in a community hospital. Patients and carers were invited to complete a questionnaire and feedback has been extremely positive. Comments have included ‘for visitors travelling a long distance this is very helpful’ and ‘thank you so much for the flexi hours otherwise my husband could not have come at visiting times.’
NHS Forth Valley Senior Charge Nurse Catriona Addison who works in gynaecology said: “Overall, this has not caused us any problems. People have been very appreciative of the extended hours and patients, some of whom are distressed, have felt much better that members of their family have been able to be with them throughout the day.”
Under the change people are being asked to limit the number of visitors to two at a time, although, in certain circumstances, staff will be happy to discuss allowing more people at the bedside.