Minister tells hospitals flexible visiting would make them more dementia-friendly

Liberal Democrat care minister Norman Lamb has appealed to hospitals to allow the families of patients with dementia to visit outside visiting hours or to stay overnight

Care services minister Norman Lamb has written to trusts in England asking them to give the families of patients with dementia the option to visit outside normal visiting times and to stay overnight.

Mr Lamb has asked the hospitals to adopt a flexible approach to visiting as part of an attempt to make hospitals more dementia-friendly.

Last month prime minister David Cameron announced Challenge on Dementia 2020, which says all health and care environments should be dementia-friendly and relatives should be able to stay when a person with dementia is nearing the end of their life.

Mr Lamb asks trusts to go further by allowing carers to stay with their loved one during any hospital stay.

In a letter to trusts, the minister said: 'We are aware the removal of restrictions on visiting hours is not an action we could mandate but we encourage you to take account of the wishes of carers and people with dementia in your efforts to ensure all hospitals are becoming more dementia-friendly and as part of a cultural shift towards the practice of acknowledging the carers of people with dementia as partners in care.'

A number of trusts in England have already introduced open visiting, including Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust in London.



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