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16 January 2017

Move to longer visiting hours for Bristol city centre hospitals

visiting timesFrom Monday 16 January, in response to feedback from patients and their families, visiting hours across University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust are to be extended.

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 extended visiting will allow more flexibility for relatives to visit their loved ones at a time that suits them.

This new approach also forms part of the Trust's aim to make its hospitals more patient friendly by giving relatives and carers the chance to spend more time with their loved ones and have an active role in their care while they are in hospital.

Families and friends will be able to visit between the hours of 8am and 9pm across more hospitals within the Trust.

Previously only those visiting patients at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children or the Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre had no restrictions on the time they came to visit.

This has now been extended to include the Bristol Royal Infirmary, Bristol Heart Institute, South Bristol Community Hospital and Ward 78 at St Michael's Hospital.

Carolyn Mills, chief nurse of University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, said:

"We understand how stressful being in hospital can be both for the patients 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.

"The changes to visiting hours will 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.

"Other Trusts who have introduced open visiting hours across their hospitals have seen a reduction in the number of in-patient falls and a great improvement in communication between families and staff, as they are able to keep in touch throughout the day rather than during a restricted period.

"There will be occasions when, for clinical reasons or patient choice, visitors may be asked to return later or move to another area of the ward for a short period of time."

Some areas of the Trust will still have restricted visiting hours and these include the antenatal and postnatal areas of St Michael's Hospital and the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

For more information on visiting hours, please click here