"Flexible Visiting Times"

About: Hairmyres Hospital

(as a relative),

Upon visiting a relative in Hairmyres hospital myself & several other visitors arrived in & around the various wards for what used to be visiting time at 2pm.

To be told that it's flexible visiting hours now. 3pm - 8pm. Then came the, it's 3pm - 8pm except you can't come in at meal time between 5pm - 6pm.

Why have a big fanfare saying flexible visiting when in reality the visiting hours at Hairmyres have actually been cut? From 2pm, it now starts at 3pm. Then the hour for meal time, which I can understand.

Reality is its not flexible. The visiting hours are rigid 3pm - 5pm & 6pm - 8pm. It's just to make it sound great, it's flexible, when it's not!

The leaflet, is ambiguous. The change in visiting times not well published & out of date signage everywhere.

Absolute disgrace. Who's feedback did they listen to? All the patients in my relatives ward seen it for what it was, a cut to precious visiting hours.

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Susan Friel, Chief of Nursing Services, University Hospital Hairmyres, NHS Lanarkshire We are preparing to make a change

picture of Susan Friel

Dear Disgruntled Visitor

I'm so sorry you had such a poor experience, and felt you had limited access to your loved one.

By way of background; visiting times used to be a total of 2 - 2.5 hours per day only. Around two years ago, we reviewed the times, as we were keen to extend visiting time and also to give people more flexibility. We therefore changed the times to 3 - 8pm, with a gap betwen approximately 5 - 6pm for our patients to have their meal within all our wards. Following testing and review, the receiving wards were adjusted, with slightly more restrictive formal visiting times as there is a lot more clinical / medical activity taking place within these areas, however with the caveat that loved ones would be given access at any time, as long as this was appropriate, given the activity in the ward, and the clinical care taking place. Our web site page was changed at the time to reflect these changes. We've also had banners in place close to public entrances and at various points across the hospital to describe this, since the changes were made over 2 years ago.

Going forward, I am keen we look to further extend visiting times, as I truly believe seeing friends and family is of enormous benefit to our patients. We are a 'John's Campaign' friendly hospital, and I want to progress to universally open visiting times across the hospital over time. I believe that this should include mealtimes too, where this is of benefit to our patients. For example, we are piloting a 'come dine with me' project across some of our Older Peoples wards, where we provide a meal for a loved one of any patient who has dementia during lunch or tea time so that they can sit and eat with their family member. This can really help the social experience for this group of patients, and can encourage them to eat and drink more than they would have without their loved one there.

Again, I'm very sorry you had such a poor experience. I will re-double our efforts to make the improvements to visiting as quickly as I can. In the meantime, please discuss any concerns you have around access to your loved one with the Senior Charge Nurse in charge of the ward.



  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

Response from Susan Friel, Chief of Nursing Services, University Hospital Hairmyres, NHS Lanarkshire We have made a change

picture of Susan Friel

Dear Disgruntled Visitor

I just wanted to update you on our progress, following on from your post. We now have 2 wards (Wards 10 and 18A) with fully open visiting.

Wards 6, 9, 14, 15 and 16 are planning to move to open visiting in April, and my aim is that every ward in the hospital has completely open visiting by the end of this year.

Thanks again for your post


  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful