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Hospital Visiting

Person Centred Visiting

Currently, every patient in Scotland (where possible) will be able to have at least one visitor to enable family support while they are in hospital.

For those who cannot visit we offer a number of virtual options.

Person Centred Virtual Visiting

While there are restrictions on visiting in our hospitals due to Covid-19, we understand the isolation and loneliness that people can experience when they are separated from those who are most important to them. Sadly, this means many patients may have no access to family and friends throughout their stay in hospital. They may also have no access to mobile phones or other devices that could enable them to stay in touch with their families and friends virtually.

To help people maintain contact with each other during these difficult times we are offering ‘virtual visiting’ (video call) for all patients. This is a service the hospital is providing that will help patients to keep in touch with their relatives and friends by using technology that is available on devices most people have such as an Apple or Android mobile phones, tablets, laptops and computers. 

All wards have iPads specially set up to enable ‘virtual visits’ (video call) allowing patients to see and talk to the people who matter to them using FaceTime, Skype or Zoom.

How do I arrange a ‘virtual visit’ (video call)?

If you would like to arrange a ‘virtual visit’ (video call) with a friend or family member in one of our hospitals, please contact the ward directly and ask to speak to the nurse in charge or to the nurse looking after your family member or friend and request a virtual visit call.

A list of telephone numbers for all wards and departments can be found in the Our Hospitals section.

What information do I need to provide for the video call to be set up? 

Please provide the following details:

  • The patient’s full name
  • Ward number or ward name and hospital site
  • Which App you would prefer to use for the call – FaceTime, Skype or Zoom
  • Your contact details for the App you would like to use – this can be a phone number, email address or username.

You will need to ensure you have a webcam and microphone on your device that you can use – most devices already have this built in.

Is there an alternative to video messaging? 

Alternatively, if you would like to give a text or written message to a patient, please speak to the ward directly and they can pass this on for you. Please note that unfortunately we cannot pass on video messages to patients.

What if I am unable to make contact with the ward to request a Virtual Visit (video call), or pass on a written message?

We would ask in the first instance that you contact the ward directly to arrange a video call or forward a message to your family member or friend. If you are experiencing any difficulties in contacting the ward directly, then please complete this form and we will make contact with the ward on your behalf to request a video call or to forward your written message. 

Please note form submissions are not reviewed during weekends, public holidays or after 5pm.

What happens if the patient does not have a mobile phone or tablet?

All our inpatient wards have a least one iPad for patients to take part in ‘virtual visits’ (video call) to contact relatives and friends during their stay in hospital. Patients who do not have a mobile phone or tablet of their own are welcome to use a hospital iPad to see and talk to the people who matter to them. 

What happens when a patient needs help to make a ‘virtual visit’ (video call)?

For patients who are unfamiliar with using iPads to set up calls or who are unable to do this independently there is help and support available on all wards. In addition, the iPads all have a range of communication tools or apps installed, specifically for patients who are deaf, hard of hearing or who speak a language other than English. 

Can I request a ‘virtual visit’ (video call) for a specific time of day?

Where possible ward staff will try to arrange a time to suit you as well as the patient you want to contact.  However, due to activity on the ward there may be times when staff are busy and it is not possible to give a specific time for your call to take place. We would advise you to keep your device nearby to receive the call just in case the time varies, we call you at short notice or arrange a more convenient time.

Is it possible to record the call?

For the majority of situations in our wards it will not be appropriate for you to record the call. For example if there are other people present in shared ward accommodation this would be inappropriate without their consent. If you are unsure, please speak to ward staff first for advice.

Can the hospital iPad or my own device be used to speak to a healthcare chaplain?

Healthcare chaplains are available to offer support and a listening service, Monday to Thursday, 9am – 5pm and Friday to Sunday, 9am – 10pm.

If you wish to speak with someone confidentially, please ask a member of ward staff to contact switchboard and ask for the on-call chaplain.  

There may however be some occasions, when a healthcare chaplain cannot see you in person. On these occasions, they will meet with you virtually through the ‘Attend Anywhere’ App on the hospital iPad or on your own device. 

What if I am looking for information or a progress update on the care of my family member or friend? 

To obtain an update on the progress and plan of care for a patient you should contact the ward directly and ask to speak to the nurse or doctor looking after them.

Can the Virtual Visiting Service be used to enquire about outpatient appointments, waiting list enquiries and ‘Near Me’ appointments?

If your enquiry is not related to ‘virtual visiting’ you should contact either the ward or department you are looking for.

A list of telephone numbers for all wards and departments can be found in the Our Hospitals section.

Providing Feedback

Your feedback and experience of ‘virtual visiting’ is important to us as it helps us improve our service for patients, family and friends to stay in contact. We would be grateful if you could complete our short survey to let us know of your experience using ‘virtual visiting’ as it is important to us to learn and improve the service. Please complete the short survey here. Please note we may use your feedback for publicity. If you would prefer us not to do so, please advise us in the feedback form.