We're helping connect patients and loved ones

Posted on Thu, 02/07/2020

A patient Abraham Adler

A delivery of technology has helped some of the most ill patients at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to keep in touch with their loved ones – and it’s proving to be a huge boost for patients.

Due to the COVID outbreak, the NHS has had to introduce national restrictions on visitors – no visitors are allowed on the Critical Care Unit, at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead.

So, back in March, iPads were delivered to the department, where some of the most ill patients are being cared for by the team.

Using one of the available iPads has meant that patients have the opportunity to stay in touch with the outside world, keep in regular contact with their loved ones, and feel a sense of being part of the things happening in their communities at home.

One such example is that of Abraham Adler (pictured above), a member of Gateshead’s orthodox Jewish community, who used the iPad to join in with family events during his stay in hospital.

Although the iPads were initially being used for skype and FaceTime to contact loved ones, some have also been adjusted so that patients can access television channels via the internet.

Susie Chrystal, Specialist Nurse in Critical Care Rehabilitation, explains how precious the communication is between the patients and the outside world: "We have used them quite a lot in critical care and they have enabled people to take part in things that otherwise they would miss. For example, a lady who didn’t have her own device, and hadn’t seen her family for eight weeks of lockdown, could finally see and hear from her family.

"Obviously, they cannot replace the comfort of human contact, but we hope it will stop patients feeling so isolated and assist in their recovery. I think they are an excellent provision and something that we will use in the future even when visiting restrictions are lifted."

Find out more about how we're helping our patients stay connected to family and friends

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