Cumbria Crack
Health

Trust helps patients to stay digitally connected

Cumberland Infirmary

Patients are being connected with their families thanks to new digital tablets being rolled out on wards at hospitals.

Visiting is currently suspended because of the Coronavirus but the use of digital tablets means patients can take part in virtual visits and stay digitally connected with their families and friends.

Mobile phones are also being rolled out across trust sites so people can call their relatives during their stay in hospital.

One of the first teams to get a tablet was ITU at West Cumberland Hospital.

Others are being used in A&E at the Cumberland Infirmary and on Elm B ward at the Cumberland Infirmary.

Last week, a team of physiotherapists at the Cumberland Infirmary set out on a mission to fundraise to buy new tablets.

They had their heads shaved by some of their female colleagues and raised £5,000 to buy new tablets for the trust’s community hospitals.

Five others, donated by Innovia Films, are being rolled out to the trust’s other inpatient units shortly.

Farouq Din, Associate Director of Digital Healthcare at NCIC, said: “Virtual visits have helped connect loved ones with their relatives. Providing tablets has been really helpful as has the use of mobile phones.

“Munna Ali, our Information Security Officer, has been working with ITU staff and end of life patients to deliver this service.”

Munna said: “I feel very strongly about this, no one should be made to feel helpless and not be able to say or see their loved ones.”

The tablets are for all patients to use – not just those receiving end of life care.

Munna added: “This project is very close to my heart and I would literally have done anything to get it off the ground.”

Munna hopes the digital tablets will continue to be used after Covid-19.

He said: “I hope it will continue after Covid as there may be relatives that live far away, or overseas. They should continue to be used irrespective of Pandemic use only.”

Elaine Crooks, Patient Experience and Involvement Lead, said: “The patient experience team are working closely with digital security and the ward areas to support training on the use of the technology in a different way that we traditionally used tablets for.”

Anyone wanting to donate digital tablets during the Coronavirus can contact https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/NCIC-Covidappeal

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