Relatives to be allowed longer visits to Intensive Care patients

Written by Editorial.

Valencian Government announces plans to make patients, visitors and workers more comfortable

vega baja hospital

Intensive Care Units (ICU) at public hospitals in the Valencian Community treat more than 33,000 patients per year. The Valencian Government has started a plan to make them more comfortable, improve communication and extend visiting hours.

There are 44 ICUs for critical patients, including Torrevieja and Vega Baja Hospitals. Currently relatives can only spend between half and hour and an hour with patients in them. The new plan will allow a minimum of four hours and will come into force within a year.

Health Councillor Carmen Montón said this is to give patients and their families more intimacy and comfort. Relatives will also have a specific waiting room with suitable furniture, access to toilets nearby, drink dispensers and food available 24 hours a day.

“In these situations people are at their most vulnerable so any detail, no matter how small it seems, can make their stay better,” she said.

The rooms will also have natural light, dimmers for the light switches, clocks and calendars so people are not so disorientated, ambient noise will be checked to keep it down, blindfolds and earplugs will be available so it is easier to sleep, regulated use of mobile phones, TV will be allowed, and there will be relaxing background music and access to a library. The rooms will also be decorated in suitable colours and pictures of nature.

Measures are also being introduced to reduce the pressure on UCI workers, including staff rooms for them to ‘disconnect’. There will also be control over the heating, air conditioning, humidity and lighting.

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