Bosses at Raigmore Hospital have warned members of the public that the chapel entrance door at the Inverness hospital will be closed from January 21.
The entrance, which was initially intended to be restricted to staff entry, will now only be accessible to staff and emergency services, with members of the public asked to use the main entrance located in zone five for access to and from the building.
Katherine Sutton, head of acute services, said: “The area by the chapel entrance has a high volume of traffic with ambulances regularly arriving to pick up or drop off patients as well as being regularly used by people coming into and leaving the building.
“It is also, despite Raigmore Hospital being a no smoking site, used as an area for people to smoke which is having a detrimental effect on patients and staff in the Renal Unit which is located nearby. For all these reasons we have made the decision to lock the chapel entrance.”
Reminders and signage are to be displayed around the hospital, with emphasis on the area surrounding the entrance to ensure people are made aware of the changes. Information is to also be shared on NHS Highland’s social media sites.
Access for emergency services such as the Scottish Ambulance Service and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is being arranged separately through the hospital’s estates team.