Our visiting policy
Over the last few years, hospitals have tended to have “open” or unrestricted visiting. Now, though, the Trust board has agreed a Visiting Policy for Torbay Hospital, so that wards have set hours for visiting.
This is in response to suggestions about limiting visiting which Foundation members have sent us, and the feedback we received from patients, relatives and staff. We also surveyed inpatients and held an event attended by over 20 invited members of the public, patient representatives and carers, and an equal number of health care workers.
There was general agreement that both visiting times and visiting numbers should be restricted, particularly to allow for undisturbed patient meal times and protected cleaning time. It was also seen as important to standardise visiting times across the hospital.
After further review, we have adopted the following visiting times for adult wards – to reflect a sensible balance between the needs of patients, their visitors, hospital staff and hospital procedures. The exceptions are: maternity and children’s units, critically or terminally ill patients, carers who are participating in the care of a patient (for example with feeding or administration of medicines).
Afternoon visiting – 2pm to 4.30pm
Evening visiting – 6.30pm to 8pm
A maximum of two visitors will be able to visit each patient at any time (including children).
Children under 5 years will be limited to 30 minutes visiting, and children aged 5 years and over will be limited to a maximum of one hour.
The aim of this policy is to reduce the likelihood to children of either acquiring or bringing infections into the hospital environment. It is not advisable for babies to visit and the only exceptions should be if either parent is the patient. In all cases advice should always be sought from the Ward Manager.
There was general support from patients and the public that visitors have responsibilities when in the hospital environment. These were agreed as a visitors’ charter.
As a visitor to our hospital we ask you to:
- Please respect our visiting times and restrictions.
- Have consideration for staff doing their job and for patients who need rest and privacy.
- Be polite and courteous.
- Observe confidentiality – you may see or hear things of a private nature.
- Not to visit if you might be an infection risk to others or feel unwell yourself.
- Help keep our hospital clean and inform staff of any cleaning concerns.
- Be responsible and in control of your children if they are visiting.
- Be responsible for the safety and security of your belongings.
- Use the hand cleaning facilities when entering and leaving clinical areas and wards.
- Refrain from eating or drinking in clinical areas.
In an emergency, visiting will be at the discretion of the nurse in charge.
The visitors’ charter is displayed throughout the hospital.
Your comments are welcome. You can write to the Chief Nurse, Torbay Hospital, Torquay TQ2 7AA.