East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust has launched a new service to help connect families with their loved ones who are being treated in hospital.
Stay in Touch is an online form where families can leave messages and photos for patients at Lister Hospital, Stevenage and Mount Vernon Cancer Centre, Northwood. These messages are printed and delivered to patients on a daily basis.
The service started at the end of April and has already had an overwhelming response from family and friends of patients – with over 80 messages, 120 photos and even a wordsearch sent to loved ones.
Rachael Corser, Director of Nursing and Patient Experience said: “COVID-19 has made it difficult for many to communicate and visit loved ones who are in hospital and we hope this form is way that provides some comfort for families.
“The response to the Stay in Touch service has been brilliant and has made a real difference not only to patients, but to their family. We look forward to sharing more of these messages each day and seeing the joy it brings.”
Rachael added: ”This is just one of the ways we are improving communications between patients and their families. Thanks to kind donations from the community, we can now also provide iPads on all the wards that patients can use to contact loved ones.”
Due to COVID-19, visiting has been suspended at the trust’s four hospitals – Lister, New QEII, Hertford County Hospital and Mount Vernon Cancer Centre until further notice.
The only exceptional circumstances where one visitor – an immediate family member or carer – will be permitted to visit are listed below:
- The patient you wish to visit is receiving end-of-life care.
- You are the birthing partner accompanying a woman in labour (for more detailed information, see our maternity section below).
- You are a parent or appropriate adult visiting your child.
- You are supporting someone with a mental health issue such as dementia, a learning disability or autism, where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed.
The ‘Stay in Touch’ can be accessed here: https://www.enherts-tr.nhs.uk/patient-visitors/your-feedback-matters/stay-in-touch/