A ONE month pilot of open visiting hours is being rolled out across the four Hywel Dda University Health Board acute hospitals.

Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen is trialling open visiting hours on Gwenllian, Ceri and Derwen wards. The changes have been made to help inform a review into their inpatient visiting policy.

As part of this review the University Health Board are holding a consultation with staff and patient groups and an evaluation will take place at the end of the month to review the success of the pilot.

Visitors to Glangwili Hospital will be able to call in to see loved ones who are being treated on Gwenllian, Ceri and Derwen wards from 10am until 8pm daily until July 9.

Director of Nursing, Quality and Patient Experience, Caroline Oakley, said: “When patients are eating or receiving care, visitors may be asked to step outside the ward area for a short time to allow their loved one some privacy and to help ward staff carry out their duties.

“This will be at the discretion of the ward staff and we hope that it won’t stop family and friends from dropping by. The benefit to patients of having visitors while staying in hospital is huge.

“We hope that by opening wards for longer it will provide some normality for patients and convenience for families. We will also look in to whether a more flexible visiting policy could help with parking congestion at some of our hospital sites.

“We appreciate that some patients will prefer more controlled visiting and will discuss this with individuals to ensure their personal preferences are met.”

There will be an opportunity for visitors to provide feedback of their experience either directly to a ward Sister or in a comments book available on each participating ward, which will form part of the evaluation at the end of the trial period.

Visiting hours for Glangwili Hospital can be found by visiting wales.nhs.uk.