Public back more limited hospital visiting
Members of the public have backed a proposal to reduce visiting times at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital as part of the fight against infection.
More than eight out of ten of the 630 respondents said they believed hospital visiting times should be more restricted but 19 per cent said they believed more visiting should be allowed. The Patient and Public Involvement Forum also voiced support for more restricted visiting.
The hospital proposed limiting normal ward visiting to new times of 2pm to 4pm and 6pm to 8pm. The change was proposed to reduce the chance of infection being brought into wards by visitors and to help nursing staff spend more time with their patients and not dealing with visitors.
In recent weeks the stomach bug Norovirus is once again circulating widely in the community and people are again being reminded not to attend the hospital to visit loved ones if they have been in close contact with the stomach bug or other illness in the past few days.
Visiting times for many wards at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital have traditionally been 2pm to 8pm. Noting that the consultation showed that nearly one in five people said they would like more visiting, individual visiting arrangements outside the core visiting times can be made in agreement with ward staff, and the new arrangements will not apply to critical care or children's areas.
The new visiting times will now be introduced from the beginning of March. The public are also being reminded of hospital visiting rules that are designed to help prevent infection. Visitors should not sit on patients' beds, there should only be two visitors at a time, and visitors must make sure they clean their hands.
Director of Nursing Christine Baxter said: “We are pleased that the public felt it was important to have more limited visiting times. This will help our nursing staff spend more time on direct patient care and less on dealing with visitors' needs.
We want to make sure that our patients get adequate rest and nursing staff have time to make sure patients are fed and rested properly. It is also important that people get time to visit their loved ones and we believe this proposal does strike a better balance that meets the needs of our patients, public and our staff.”
People were asked to give their views on the hospital's website www.nnuh.nhs.uk