Two-fifths (40%) of patients on UK hospital wards get no visitors, say the NHS nurses who care for them.

The Royal Voluntary Service charity commissioned a poll of 200 nurses working in acute hospitals in Britain.

As well as being socially isolating, having no visitor to help with the “small” things, such as cutting up food or refilling a water glass, can delay a patient’s recovery, the nurses say.

They want more people to become volunteer visitors and helpers.

Christine Thorne, 37, volunteers at the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary: “My dad spent time in hospital before he passed away and it was primarily only my brother and I who visited him. It makes me sad to think there are people in hospital with no-one at all to

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