29 JANUARY 1960, Page 4

Curfew Shall Not Ring Tonight

Fon more than fifty years, time's-up for visitor; at the Royal Free Hospital has been signalled by the ringing of a handbell. It was rung for the last time on Saturday, the possibility that itd; clangour might disturb the patients having dawne t at last on the hospital administration: brought this idea belatedly to mind was'the presence of Mr. Bevan in the block above the' courtyard where the bell was rung: moved la)Pc the importance of its patient, the hospital firs , muted the bet and then got rid of it. It-is unlikely that Mr. Bevan himself complained, but how many less eminent patients have done so in the past half-century. and to no avail? And how many other hospitals stilJrun their visiting times to suit the convenience not of patients or of their visitors. but of their staff?