"Why do visiting hours differ so much?"
About: NHS Fife NHS Fife Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh at Little France / Medicine for the Elderly Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh at Little France Medicine for the Elderly EH16 4SA Royal Victoria Hospital / Geriatric Assessment Royal Victoria Hospital Geriatric Assessment EH4 2DN
Posted by Allisonr01 (as ),
Visiting times seems a paltry thing to write an opinion about when you are thankful for the care your relative is given. However the effect of visiting hours has as we have found a large impact on life as a family.
Over the last year two of our parents have had hospital visits. We are the sandwich generation with children still at home doing exams and elderly parents who need care. Still working long hours and not a large family.
In the last year my Mum has had two hospital visits accumulating in 9 weeks in total in hospital in Edinburgh. My father in law had 7 days in hospital in Fife. Each ward had it's own visiting hours. One ward had visiting in the afternoon and the evening in NHS Lothian. One ward 3-8pm in NHS Fife and I observed a nurse tell relatives they still had two minutes to go before they could visit. Another ward in NHS Lothian had visiting hours 10-8pm. Two of the wards had protected meal times.
Our aim as a family was to visit Mum every day not only to help Mums spirits but to pick up laundry which accumulated quickly. However to do so means having a family meal, and other things fall off the table, exercise for the primary care giver deteriorates and leaving the car at home is not an option. By far the most helpful visiting hours were the 10am to 8pm not just for family life but for Mum.
Nurses involved us in the care, putting up intravenous fluids etc with us in the room. The care was transparent, given with confidence and high standard. In rehabilitation the occupational therapist welcomed an older grandchild to go with Mum to the department. I am not sure why the visiting hours differ so much, why some wards manage the long visiting hours. I appreciate that patients requiring procedures going for surgery etc will have different visiting, and that 4 bedded wards make it difficult for privacy but you have to ask what is best for the community that you are caring for.
I would say we were happy with all the care that our relatives received but looking at visiting hours may make a difference to not just the patient.