From next week (04 July) all inpatient hospital settings in NHS Highland will return to person centred visiting.
Person centred visiting means there are no restrictions on the number of visitors per day.
However, it is advised that a maximum of two visitors per patient at any one time to avoid overcrowding in wards.
HS Highland would welcome your support in working with us on this at this time, the NHS remains challenged at the moment and COVID has not gone away, thus our plea.
For the majority of our hospital wards there is no need to make an appointment to visit but in order to avoid overcrowding and ensure visiting is accessible for all, some clinical areas are still operating a scheduling system for visitors.
If you are unsure how the ward your loved one is in is operating, please speak to the ward staff who will be able to advise how visiting will work best for patients and their families.
Kate Patience-Quate, Deputy Nurse Director with NHS Highland, said:
“We know how important involvement and contact with family is when someone is in hospital.
“Being able to visit or accompany a loved one to hospital can bring comfort and help to reduce stress and distress for patients and their loved ones which is an essential part of the care experience.
“We know just how difficult it has been for everyone involved as we’ve gone through this long period of visiting restrictions.
“I am pleased that we are now able to return to person centred visiting across our hospital sites.”
Family members and friends are asked to liaise with each other to plan visiting to avoid large numbers of visitors at any one time, as this may result in people having to reschedule their visit.
HS Highland would also like to remind visitors not to attend hospitals if are unwell, continue to wear a mask available at the hospital entrances, wash your hands and take an LFD test before you visit.
LFD Kits can be ordered online (https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests) or by phoning 119.
HS Highland are also asking that everyone be mindful of those around them and be ‘distance aware’.
The Distance Aware scheme is designed to help those worried about mixing with others as we adapt to living with COVID-19.
For further information on the changes you can read the national guidance here (https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronaviruscovid-19-hospital-visiting-guidance/).