Open visiting is being introduced across the three hospitals run by Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust to help aid recovery for patients and provide a more positive experience for relatives and staff.
From April 1 all wards at Heartlands, Good Hope and Solihull Hospitals will introduce a policy of open visiting following a successful trial of extended visiting hours at Solihull and feedback from patients, relatives and staff.
It is widely recognised that support from family and friends, in the form of hospital visits, is an integral part of any patient’s recovery and open visiting will allow more flexibility for relatives to visit their loved ones at a time that suits them.
This new policy also forms part of the Trust’s aim to make its hospitals more dementia friendly by giving relatives and carers the chance to spend more time with their loved one and have an active role in their care while they are in hospital.
A Visitor’s Charter has been developed and copies are displayed on the Wards. This code is a set of guidelines that visitors will be asked to adhere to and will cover areas such as numbers around a patient’s bed, preventing spread of infection and protected mealtimes. The charter can be viewed here
There will though be occasions when, for clinical reasons, visitors may be asked to come back later or move to another area of the ward for a short period of time.
Sam Foster (pictured), Chief Nurse at Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We understand how stressful being in hospital can be both for the patient and their loved ones and know how much of a boost to a patient’s morale and recovery visits from friends and relatives can be.
“Therefore we are excited to be taking this step forward as a Trust to give more flexibility to relatives as to when they can visit and to the role they can play in the care of their loved ones.
“This is particularly true in relation to dementia patients. As a Trust we are busy making our hospitals more dementia friendly and open visiting will give the opportunity for the carers of patients with dementia to remain with their loved one, where appropriate, and be actively involved in their care during what can be a stressful and confusing time.”