Hospital visiting: guidance for health boards

Enabling family support for people in hospital in Scotland.

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For the purposes of this guidance, a child or young person means every person below the age of 18 years of age as defined in the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child. This guidance covers all young people under the age of 18 regardless of whether they are in children or adult wards.

Children making hospital visits

Children can visit adults in hospital and every effort should be made for a child or young person to be able to visit a person in hospital safely. Each situation should be approached in a person-centred, compassionate way with the benefits of visiting being given equal priority and balanced against the harm caused by separation.

Children in hospital receiving visits

A child in hospital is entitled to have one or both parents or carers present to support them. A child in hospital should be allowed visits from siblings or other children. Every effort should be made to accommodate visits by other children where that child has a significant relationship to the child in hospital and it is safe to visit.

The Young Patients Family Fund provides reimbursement for costs of travel, subsistence and accommodation for the eligible parents, carers and/or siblings (aged under 18) of child inpatients. More information about the fund, including how to apply can be found on our website. 


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