The chapel entrance door at Raigmore Hospital will be closed to members of the public.
The entrance, which was originally intended to be a staff entrance, will now only be accessible to staff and the emergency services. Members of the public should now use the main entrance, located in zone five, to enter and exit this section of the building.
This change will be implemented from 21 January onwards.
Katherine Sutton Head of Acute services explained the reason for the closure was taken on the grounds of safety, security and comfort of patients and staff.
She 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 will be placed on NHS Highland’s social media sites and there will also be signage placed near the entrance to ensure as wide a number of people are aware of this change.
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.