Wednesday, 18 October 2017


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Visiting patients in hospital

Western Isles Hospital, Stornoway

Visiting times in the Western Isles Hospital are from 2.30pm to 5pm and 6.30pm to 8pm except for the Protected Mealtimes (see below). There is a quiet hour until 2.15pm so that patients can sleep and relax after their lunch. Visitors are discouraged from visiting in the mornings due to clinical workload and to give a period of rest after ward rounds.

Ospadal Uibhist agus Bharraigh (Uist and Barra Hospital), Benbecula

Visiting times in Uist and Barra Hospital are open apart from Protected Mealtimes (see below). There is a quiet time between 1pm and 2.30pm so that patients can rest after lunch. Visitors should check with nursing staff if it is suitable to visit in the morning.

St Brendan's, Barra

St Brendan's Hospital is open to visitors throughout the day, with the exception of Protected Mealtimes: 8.30am - 9.15am, 12noon - 2pm and 5.30pm - 6.15pm.


Protected Mealtimes

NHS Western Isles has made a commitment to protect patients' mealtimes from unnecessary and avoidable interruptions to enable staff to provide patients with support and assistance with meals - placing the patients' mealtimes as a priority in their day.

The Protected Mealtimes Policy applies to both visitors and staff. Before visiting, please contact ward staff to confirm the protected mealtimes for the ward you intend to visit.


Guidelines for Visitors

Visitors should follow the following guidelines:

  • Respect the privacy of patients and families.
  • Only two visitors per bed at one time.
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult and be supervised at all times.
  • Parents of children in hospital are welcome to visit often and stay overnight as they wish.
  • Close relatives/carers of very ill patients may visit at any time. Please speak to the Senior Charge Nurse for further details.
  • Please keep noise to a minimum at all times.
  • No smoking is permitted in NHS Western Isles buildings. Smoking is only permitted in designated smoking areas, with a full smoking ban on all NHS Western Isles premises and grounds set to be implemented on November 30, 2013.
  • To protect patients, relatives and friends should not visit if suffering from colds, flu, vomiting or diarrhoea (or any other infectious condition). If you have had symptoms of diarrhoea or vomiting, do not visit until you have been symptom-free for at least 48 hours. If you are uncertain, please telephone the ward to ask nursing staff for advice.

Bringing food to hospital

To comply with the Food Safety Act, foods that are commonly associated with food poisoning, such as those containing eggs, meat, fresh cream, etc, must not be brought into hospital for patient consumption.

You are requested not to bring in prepared food for patients. Carry-out cooked meals must not be brought into the hospital.


You must not bring animals into the hospital, except for trained assistance dogs, which are permitted in public areas. Relatives or visitors who have trained assistance dogs should contact the ward prior to visiting.

In some instances, and by special arrangement, a dog, under supervision, may be permitted to enter some of the wards – e.g. care of the elderly wards.


  • If you are visiting a friend or relative in hospital, please remember the following points:
  • Clean your hands before entering a ward.
  • Clean your hands on leaving a ward.
  • If you are visiting more than one patient, clean your hands between visits.
  • Never touch dressings, drips or equipment.
  • Visitors are limited to two per patient at a time.
  • Don’t visit if you are feeling unwell, if you have been sick, or if you have a stomach upset.
  • Do not sit on the beds.

Other facilities

Toilet facilities and pay phones are available in public areas. A member of staff will be pleased to give you directions to the nearest facility. Breastfeeding and baby changing facilities are also available. Please contact the Maternity Department for further details.

Visitors are welcome to use the dining facilities in Western Isles Hospital and Ospadal Uibhist agus Bharraigh. Both facilities provide a wide range of meals and snacks.