Open visiting times at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust

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People will be able to see loved ones in hospital whenever they wish after set visiting hours were scrapped.

Open visiting will be introduced at Pinderfields, Pontefract and Dewsbury from March 1.

Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust said people could spend more time with loved ones and be actively involved in their care, where appropriate.

Trust bosses also hope open visiting will also ease car park congestion at the three hospitals and help wards to avoid an influx of visitors at certain times.

David Melia, Mid Yorkshire’s acting chief nurse, said: “Our priority is to provide quality care for our patients and we can optimise this by involving and recognising the invaluable role and contribution that family and carers provide.”

Mid Yorkshire said that in other hospitals, where open visiting has been introduced, the move has been shown to improve patient wellbeing.

Mr Melia said: “Having loved ones around more often can make a patient’s stay much more comfortable and help to counteract feelings of loneliness or separation.

“They can also be valuable in helping with elements of care, such as feeding. Some patients are more inclined to eat and drink more if they are fed by a loved one.

“We also recognise not all friends and relatives can visit at set times.

“By having a more flexible approach we hope it will make things easier for people at a time that can often be stressful.”