"Visiting hours"

About: Woodend General Hospital

(as the patient),

I was admitted for a procedure to Woodend Hospital, Aberdeen.  The staff were excellent and very attentive. I am writing this as my experience with the new procedure of allowing relatives to stay with the patient all the time was not.

I was in a 6 bedded ward (female) and one patient had two male relatives staying with her all the time. I appreciate that most people are anxious and come from outlying areas but all patients should have the right to privacy when waiting for operations as everyone is anxious and require some peace and quiet.

The staff suggested for them to go to the day room which they ignored, the noise level and the topics of conversation got so bad that I spoke to the nursing staff who advised that they could not do anything, myself and another patient ended up moving through to the day ward just to get peace but as our procedure time approached we moved back to the ward area.  I ended up having to ask the relatives to lower their voices and to respect other patients.

The other 5 patients were all of the same view and it should not be up to the patients to ask other relatives to keep quiet. 

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Response from Linda Oldroyd, Chief Nurse for Surgery, NHS Grampian

picture of Linda Oldroyd

Dear Abdn Female

I am so sorry to hear of your experience at Woodend Hospital. Our Welcome Ward scheme was introduced over a year ago to make it easier for family and friends to visit loved ones in hospital. Our evaluation of this has been largely positive from both staff and patients. I am not sure from your post if you were in Ward 9 or Ward 10, however I will speak with both Senior Charge Nurses about the ethos of the Welcome Ward. Nurses should feel empowered to intervene in a situation such as you describe. It is not acceptable that you were the one who had to move away from the situation. I am so sorry that your experience was blighted by something which is intended to improve the person-centredness of our care. I hope that your surgery went ahead as planned and that you are now recovering well at home.

Please get in touch if you would like to talk this over with me. I can be contacted on 01224 553664 or at loldroyd@nhs.net

Kindest regards,

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