VOTE: Worthing and Southlands hospital visiting hours to be cut

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CHANGES are being made to visiting hours at Worthing and Southlands hospitals.

New standard visiting times will be introduced across all Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust sites from April 4.

The new times will mean adult medical and surgical wards at Worthing and Southlands hospitals and St Richard’s in Chichester will be open to visitors from 3pm to 5pm, and 6.30pm to 8pm every day.

These times already operate at St Richard’s, but for Worthing and Southlands hospitals, the new hours will mean a one-and-a-half hour reduction in the total amount of visiting hours available. Currently, visiting hours are from 3pm to 8pm.

Cathy Stone, director of nursing and patient safety, said: “Having such a variation in visiting times makes life more difficult for patients, their visitors and for staff.

“The new, standard times will mean patients and visitors will always know when they can see each other, and staff will know they will have protected time to provide the best possible care for their patients.”

The trust said meal times would be protected under the new rules, and said standard visiting times would reduce disruption on the wards, ending the potential for confusion which can arise when patients are moved between sites. It would also allow clinical staff to get the necessary access to their patients without having to disturb visitors.

What do you think about the change to visiting hours, and the reduction to the total number of hours available for visits?

To cast your vote, go to the poll on the top right of this page.

Alternatively, email your views to letters@worthingherald.co.uk