Reduced visiting has been implemented at a maternity unit due to severe abuse of staff.
The decision to cut back visiting at the unit at University Hospital Wishaw was announced by NHS Lanarkshire on Monday.
Senior midwives at the board have moved to limit second visitors to two hours per day and by appointment only.
Cheryl Clark, NHS Lanarkshire’s chief midwife, said that staff had been subject to “vile language and abuse”.
And she made a plea to visitors and patients to the maternity unit to be kind to staff.
“We have worked tirelessly to get visiting back to what our parents and families want,” she said.
“However, over the last few months, the level of verbal abuse being directed at our staff in the maternity unit at University Hospital Wishaw has continued to rise.
“Our staff are being subject to vile language and abuse and in one instance staff were chased out a ward by family members not willing to leave.
“This not only affecting the staff but also having a negative impact on the care we strive to deliver at all times.
“To stop this abuse, one of the measures we are taking is that the second visitor will now only be able to attend by prior appointment and for a maximum of two hours.”
Clark said that the mental health off staff was being impacted by the abuse.
“This was an extremely difficult decision but the result of the abuse means our staff are going off sick, crying on shift and it is affecting their mental health,” she continued.
“It is sad to say that we have also increased security measures to ensure the safety of our staff and other families.”
Clark added: “I make a personal plea to all visitors and patients to our maternity unity – please be kind, please be compassionate and please be respectful to our staff and other families.”