Patients in Falkirk Community Hospital will be allowed extra time to spend with family and friends thanks to a new initiative.
The new programme will allow people to see their loved ones outside normal visiting hours.
It is part of the Scottish Government’s Patient- Centred Visiting initiative and people are being asked to give feedback on the changes.
Currently visiting hours for the four inpatient units at the community hospital are 11.30am to 8pm every day.
However, now visitors can contact the charge nurse to arrange suitable times for attending.
Around 75 members of the public attended the launch event and senior charge nurse Irene Martin said she was delighted with the response.
She said: ““This event has been really successful and the patients have thoroughly enjoyed it. Relatives and carers have been eager to offer their views.
“Some of our patients are in for a couple of weeks, some for a couple of months, so we want to make it as homely as possible for them.
“Some for example, may have been early risers all their lives, getting up at 5am, and it would be good for their wellbeing if a visitor could join them at breakfast time to have a cup of coffee.”
The launch was celebrated with tea and cakes baked by staff, and student nurses brought patients without visitors to the ground floor of the hospital to join them for a welcome cuppa.
An NHS Forth Valley spokesperson said: “Evidence suggests that removing restrictions on visiting times can lead to better outcomes and enhanced quality of care.
“However to keep patients safe there may be times, such as during ward rounds, when people need extra attention and visitors could be asked to step outside the ward while treatment is given.”
Extending the visiting opportunities has even proved to free up staff as when there is more opportunity to visit, relatives are less likely to phone earlier in the day to check on a patient’s progress.