Glasgow & West Scotland

Extended visits for hospital patients

Woman holding man's hand in hospital Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Friends and relatives will now be able to visit from 11:00 until 20:30

Visiting hours are to be extended at hospitals across Scotland's largest health authority area.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said the move was designed to offer friends and relatives more flexibility when visiting people in hospital.

Visitors will now be able to attend adult acute hospital wards everyday between 11:00 and 20:30.

The change is part of a move away from traditional set visiting times after claims it would benefit patients.

'Big difference'

Across Scotland, most health authorities have adopted extended visiting, with NHS Grampian and Tayside among the most flexible.

However, NHS Highland and NHS Eileanan Siar Western Isles continue to operate strict hours across most wards.

NHS Lothian's website says visiting varies depending on the ward, but a spokesperson said generally visitors can see friends and family at any time during the day.

Health Authority Visiting Hours
NHS Ayrshire and Arran 14:00 - 20:00
NHS Borders 11:00 - 20:00 (Individual wards may vary)
NHS Dumfries and Galloway 14:00 - 20:00
NHS Fife 14:00 - 20:00
NHS Forth Valley 11:30 - 20:00
NHS Grampian Flexible
NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde 11:00 - 20:30
NHS Highland 14:30 - 16:30 - 18:30 - 20:30
NHS Lanarkshire 14:00 - 20:00
NHS Lothian Various depending on ward
NHS Orkney Various depending on ward
NHS Shetland 15:00 - 20:00 (Individual ward may vary)
NHS Tayside Flexible
NHS Eileanan Siar Western Isles 14:30 - 17:00 - 18:00 - 20:00

Margaret McGuire, nursing director at NHSGGC said: "This change will make a big difference to families and friends of patients, enabling them to visit when it is most suitable thereby ensuring family life and work commitments are not adversely effected.

"This will ensure patients as well as family and friends are able to plan visits better and patients enjoy a better quality of time with their loved ones."

The health board said there would be exceptions to the extended visiting times such as at maternity, children and intensive care wards to meet clinical needs.

Scotland's Health Secretary Shona Robison said flexible and extended visiting was to be welcomed.

She added: "This recognises the reality that most families need some flexibility to deal with competing demands on their time and the feedback to date has been almost universally positive.

"The majority of health boards operate 'flexible visiting' policies which specify times during which families are welcome."