Health board restricts maternity visiting due to abuse

A health board has restricted visits to one of its maternity units as a result of abuse suffered by staff.

Staff in the post natal wards at University Hospital Wishaw, according to NHS Lanarkshire’s chief midwife Cheryl Clark, are being subjected to verbal abuse “almost daily” and workers even being “chased out” of a ward by family members unwilling to leave in one incident.

As a result, the board announced on Monday that the second visitor nominated by a patient will be required to make a two-hour appointment before their visit.

In a video on Facebook, Ms Clark said: “Over the past few months, a number of our staff – particularly in scan and post natal ward – have been subject to abuse by families and visitors accessing our services.

Visitor trouble: Wishaw General Hospital

“Whilst this settled for a period of time, over the last few weeks it has certainly risen again and it’s now at the stage where it’s almost daily that our staff are being subject to verbal abuse.

“In fact, some of our staff have been chased out the wards and been subject to a torrent of vile language.”

Systems were put in place to limit the abuse, Ms Clark said, but these did not have the required effect.

“It is with a heavy heart and deep regret that we have to pull back the second visitor in order to keep our families, our babies, our mums, our staff safe.”

Ms Clark went on to make a plea to visitors to be “kind” and “compassionate”.