Hospital visiting: guidance for health boards

Enabling family support for people in hospital in Scotland.

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Family and carers providing support

Supporting people in hospital to involve their family or carers as much as they would like is an important principle of person-centred visiting. This recognises the beneficial effect of a family member or carer participating in some elements of personal care and support, such as at mealtimes or with personal hygiene, etc. This is of particular importance if receiving care from people with whom the person is less familiar would cause distress. The clinical team should work with the family and carers to enable this to occur. In these instances, the family or carer providing support should not be treated as a visitor to the ward. They should also be provided with the appropriate personal protective equipment and education to undertake these activities where necessary.

Virtual visiting

In the rare circumstances where in-person support is not possible, a person in hospital can be supported via other means such as virtual visiting using tablets or mobiles. However, a virtual approach will not be appropriate for some people and should only be used if in-person is not possible. The first option should always be to facilitate in-person support.


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