White Coat, Black Art

The End of Visiting Hours

On this edition of White Coat, Black Art: a personal reflection on hospital visitors and the role they play in the lives of patients and the people who look after them.You have probably heard the hospital PA announcement that visiting hours have ended and you are expected to leave. Until quite recently, that was the rule. Most hospitals had restricted...
On this edition of White Coat, Black Art: a personal reflection on hospital visitors and the role they play in the lives of patients and the people who look after them.

You have probably heard the hospital PA announcement that visiting hours have ended and you are expected to leave. Until quite recently, that was the rule. Most hospitals had restricted visiting hours that kept patients and family members apart for much of the day. More important, the rules made family members feel like they got in the way. 

We will hear Veronica Ratchford's disturbing story about her husband's final days, and the heartbreaking truth she discovered when she asked hospital officials why her husband died alone when his family was just down the hall.

Brian talks to Leslee Thompson, CEO at Kingston General Hospital, a place where they mostly let family visit twenty-four seven. We explore the pros and cons of unlimited visiting with Leslee, a front-line nurse and advocate for an open-door policy for hospitals.

We asked officials from the Capital Health which runs Victoria General to comment on what happened to Veronica Ratchford and her family. Here is their written response:

 
You can read a letter from a patient who had a different experience at a Capital Health hospital here.

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