The open visiting project demonstrated benefits in communication between the health care professionals (HCP), patients, carers and relatives and thus reduced the amount of complaints received informally. Patients, relatives and carers found open visiting extremely positive and valued the flexibility if gave them. Many of the perceived barriers that the HCP’s had before implementation of open visiting were based on the potential of interruptions in the ward however these views changed after implementation and many HCP’s described the positive effects .
The implementation of open visiting still highlighted some barriers to managing privacy and dignity for patients whilst care was being delivered. It also highlighted that open visiting does not automatically mean families and carers will become partners in care or participate in care, that still requires staff to engage with them and encourage then whilst they are present.
Open visiting has been rolled out across one of the hospital sites within the Trust it was conducted. It will be presented to the Trust board for the other sites with a clear plan of how to ensure success based on the findings of this study.