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How to be a good visitor

Telephone calls

We appreciate that you will be anxious to learn of your relatives or friends progress by telephone. However, it would save considerable staff time if calls to the ward telephone were limited to immediate members of the family. If possible, one person only should call on behalf of the family.

This does not apply to telephoning patients via Hospedia (formerly Patientline) where this is available.

The use of mobile phones is not permitted in the hospital. The signals can affect vital medical equipment. Please switch off your mobile phone before you enter the hospital.

Noise

Please try to keep noise levels down as noise disturbs people who are unwell.

Controlling infection - how you can help

Everyone has a role to play in helping prevent the spread of Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI). NHS staff are doing a great deal, but we cannot overcome these problems without the involvement of the public.

How you can help - as a visitor :

  • The most important thing is to wash and dry your hands before and after visiting the ward, particularly after going to the toilet. If there is alcohol hand gel provided at the ward door or bedside, use it. It is not there just for staff.
  • Do not visit patients if you yourself are unwell, especially if you have diarrhoea or vomiting. Stay home and do not visit (or go to work or school) until you have been free of symptoms for 48 hours.
  • Never touch dressings, drips or other equipment around the bed.
  • Do not sit on the bed.
  • Keep the number of visitors to a minimum at any one time.
  • Do not bring food that requires re-heating into hospital.
  • Try to avoid bringing in very young children when you visit.
  • Please comply with any special precautions and instructions given by members of staff, and ask advice about anything you want to bring in.
  • Do not be afraid to raise concerns about HAI with staff.

If you have any further concerns please feel free to contact the Infection Control Team on 01224 550998.

A good visitor also:

  • Always considers other patients and staff as well as his / her friend or relative.
  • Goes and finds a chair to sit on, and returns it after use.
  • Brings sensible gifts (see below).
  • Tries not to bring children in, but if this is unavoidable, does not let them run riot.
  • Checks with close relatives which is the best day to visit.
  • Visits during ward visiting times and offers to leave if other visitors arrive.
  • Does not burden the patient with their own problems.
  • Respects the patient's confidentiality, and does not delve into the charts at the bottom of the bed.
  • Is willing to take home the patient's personal laundry.

Visiting times

Visiting times vary from ward to ward. The visiting times are usually displayed outside each ward. If they are not please ask the ward staff or receptionist.

Remember that although visiting times are quite extensive, it is not intended that visitors remain for the entire visiting period particularly those who may be quite ill. In most instances this is not in the best interests of patients. It is often helpful for family and friends to plan their visits in such a way that the patient has the opportunity to have regular visitors, but for short periods only. Your co-operation will be appreciated by both patients and staff

Only two visitors are allowed at your bedside at any one time. Children may visit you at the discretion of the Nurse in Charge. As you will appreciate some restrictions on visiting are essential to ensure that ward staff are able to carry out their duties. If circumstances make it very difficult for friends or relatives to visit during normal hours, please approach the Nurse in Charge of the ward who will consider individual circumstances sympathetically.

You are requested to :

  • Leave the ward if a member of staff needs to see your relative / friend.
  • Keep the noise down if the doctors are doing a ward round.

Food

When in hospital, relatives and friends often bring in a patient's favourite food from home as a treat. Any food brought in should be branded goods, in sealed packets with a sell by date. It should not require re-heating. Please speak to the nurse in charge before giving a patient food brought from outside the hospital.

Please note that the hospital cannot accept responsibility for foods not prepared by us.

Gifts etc. - what can I take ?


No

  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco products
  • Large bulky products
  • Large amounts of food
  • Food that needs re-heating

Yes

  • Toiletries
  • Magazines
  • Small flower arrangements
  • Plants in containers

No Smoking

NHS Grampian recognises that tobacco smoke causes discomfort and ill health to everyone, whether they smoke or not. Therefore smoking is not allowed within hospital buildings and entrance areas.

There are designated smoking areas for patients & visitors - please ask staff.

Alcohol

Alcohol must not be consumed in the hospital or its grounds unless specifically prescribed by your hospital doctor.

Drugs

NHS Grampian does not accept unauthorised/illegal drugs or illicit substances being brought or consumed on to its premises.

Violence and aggression

To ensure staff are able to provide and patients are able to receive health care of the highest quality, NHS Grampian requests that service users and visitors:

Do not act in a manner that humiliates, frightens or makes staff or other patients feel unsafe or vulnerable. This includes verbal abuse, threats, antisocial behaviour, harassment, bullying and physical assault. NHS Grampian takes this behaviour extremely seriously and will take appropriate action in all cases.