"Visiting Times on Maternity Ward"

About: Chorley & South Ribble Hospital Royal Preston Hospital

(as a relative),

My sister-in-law had a baby boy at Royal Preston Hospital on Monday morning. Later that day when she was transferred to the Maternity Ward I was contacted by my brother to let me know that the visiting times were between 3.30pm and 5.30pm for relatives. Unfortunately, with working full time, I was unsure if I could make it, being 40 miles away at the time.

This was an emotional time, particularly for my brother as we had lost our mum earlier in the year and I know that my brother had wanted my mum to know whether she would have had a grandson or granddaughter but she died before she could be told.

I wanted to be able to support him by attending and sharing the moment with both him and my sister-in-law but the rules were unbending. I contacted the ward to ask if there was any way round these regulations but was informed that this was not possible.

I did manage to get there on time and had 20 minutes visiting but witnessed a number of highly stressed out and impolite nurses on the ward. There was clearly too much to do and not enough on duty to do it.

On the following night, I was lucky enough to experience the Maternity Ward at Chorley Hospital as my sister-in-law had transferred. Although this ward operated the same visiting times, the nurse I contacted was very helpful and said that myself and my two sons could visit that evening. We arrived at 7.30pm and stayed for an hour. The ward was much more friendly and the staff more welcoming. What a contrast!

I have often been told of the different culture and atmosphere between Chorley and Preston hospitals but had never experienced it myself. Now I know that Chorley has definitely retained it's district general persona and as a result, patients and relatives benefit from a friendly and personal delivery of care.

I understand that visiting times are there for a number of reasons, including infection control but please LTH, can you be a bit more reasonable and remember visiting times should be more flexible for those who work.

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