Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust has issued 37 iPads to all their inpatient wards (community hospitals, learning disability and mental health units) so that patients can enjoy ‘virtual visiting’ with their loved ones whilst visiting is suspended.
We understand how difficult it must be for families and loved ones during this time. The distribution of iPads to all wards is the latest in a number of initiatives the Trust has introduced to ensure patients can stay in contact with their loved ones during their hospital stay.
Alison Kirk, the Trust’s Head of Patient Experience and Involvement commented on the impact this initiative is having on one of our wards caring for people with dementia: “Although many of our patients may not be able to speak to their families on the iPad, they will be able to see their faces which makes a real difference to them.
Patients from all inpatient services are benefiting with Linda Melloreaningful activity co-ordinator at Coalville Community Hospital commenting “So far it has been amazing, watching patients see their families for the first time in maybe four weeks. It has been received positively by both patients and their families. It has been a fabulous tool to improve the patient’s wellbeing and gives them a positive attitude – impacting on their recovery and goals. It is patient centred care at its best and I’ve seen tears of sadness from missing loved ones, but the big smiles on their faces is priceless.
Patients can also stay connected to their loved ones without technology through our message to a loved one service which was launched in April: https://www.leicspart.nhs.uk/contact/patient-advice-and-liaison-service-pals/message-to-a-loved-one/.
Visiting is suspended to limit the spread of Covid-19. The only exceptional circumstances where one visitor (an immediate family member or carer) will be permitted to visit are listed below:
- The patient you is receiving end-of-life care.
- Parent or appropriate adult visiting their child.
- The patient has a mental health issue such as dementia, a learning disability or autism, where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed.
Family and loved ones should contact the ward or department in advance to discuss appropriate arrangements.