The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is running 'virtual visiting hours' thanks to a donation of more than 120 iPads from local businesses.

The scheme is helping to keep families in touch with relatives who have been admitted.

It is being offered on all wards as well as the Critical Care Complex with Covid-19 patients the first to benefit.

“We’ve not forgotten that so many people in our community will be anxious and worried, unable to visit loved ones, and with this service we can reassure people that those closest to them are being holistically cared for. Our new service does not replace the clinical conversations that doctors have with patients’ relatives. Instead, we are here to ease pressure off ward staff and alleviate some of the anxieties for relatives of patients."

Clinical Educator Stuart Callow

The Trust has also set up a 'Relatives’ Liaison team', made up of clinical staff who are unable to work on the wards due health and shielding requirements.

They have volunteered to act as a link between patients’ relatives and ward staff during the Covid-19 outbreak.

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Each day the team contacts as many wards as possible to get a handover of a patient’s overall health and developments in their care.

They then phone relatives, giving priority to those who are more vulnerable, such as those who can’t use Skype or video calls to keep in touch with their loved ones.

“We know that enabling people to see each other as well as speak to each other will make for much more meaningful communication and will make a huge difference to them. This is helping to reunite couples; parents, children and grandchildren and we know this means the world to them. This is also really important for our staff: knowing that you have done all you can for your patients and their loved ones is a major morale booster.”

Sarah Higson, Lead for Patient Engagement and Experience