Visiting times for all wards and hospitals at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are being standardised as of 1 April 2014.
Routine visiting will be from 3pm to 8pm daily with open visiting allowed in specific areas such as the children’s wards and acute admissions.
The changes affect wards at the following hospitals:
- The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough
- Friarage Hospital in Northallerton
- Carter Bequest Primary Care Hospital in Middlesbrough
- East Cleveland Primary Care Hospital in Brotton
- Guisborough Primary Care Hospital
- Lambert Memorial Community Hospital in Thirsk
- Redcar Primary Care Hospital
- The Friary Community Hospital in Richmond
The changes have been introduced following patient experience feedback and to help further reduce healthcare associated infections.
Relatives are now able to visit at any time between 3pm and 8pm and can assist the patient with their evening meals where appropriate.
It is hoped that the extended visiting hours will encourage visitors to arrive at different times which will help staff enforce infection control rules such as having no more than two visitors to each bed at any time.
Standardised visiting times will also be less confusing for relatives, especially when patients are moving between wards, and the extended hours should help ease traffic congestion, particularly on the James Cook site.
Gill Hunt, deputy director of nursing said: “People told us that it was confusing when wards had different visiting times, that they wanted to be able to assist loved ones at meal times and that there were occasions when they really needed to see them outside of normal visiting hours.
“As from 1 April we will be extending visiting on all our wards and nursing staff have been told that they can be flexible outside of visiting times where necessary to support any special individual circumstances.”
Alison Peevor, assistant director of nursing and deputy director of infection prevention and control added: “Visitors can help us in the fight against infection by not sitting on the beds, not coming in if they are unwell, following hand washing guidance on the wards and letting staff know if they see any areas that need cleaning.”