Page last updated at 13:02 GMT, Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Hospital changes visiting hours

Traffic congestion at Frimley Park
Changed visiting times have reduced traffic congestion and improved access

Changed visiting times at a hospital in Surrey which were brought in to tackle mid-afternoon traffic congestion are to be made permanent.

The new visiting times are being implemented from 1 January 2010, after a three-month trial in 2009.

Chief executive Andrew Morris said the visiting times had significantly reduced congestion, and helped patients reach outpatient clinics more easily.

He said the changes met with the approval of most patients and visitors.

"We know that there is still work to be done to improve traffic access," he added.

"We will be continuing other areas of work, such as off-site parking for staff, providing outpatient and diagnostic services at local sites and working with our partner organisations to improve public transport."

Exceptional circumstances

Visiting times at the hospital, run by Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, used to run from 1515 to 1630 GMT and from 1830 to 2030 GMT seven days a week.

Hours for visiting being brought in from new year are from 1830 to 2030 from Monday to Friday and from 1430 to 2000 on Saturdays and Sundays.

The senior nurse on duty can make exceptions for people who are visiting very ill patients, who are disabled, sick or dependent on others, and those who live far away, or who have transport or childcare problems.

Different hours apply to maternity, paediatrics and intensive care wards.

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