Video calls are proving a real tonic for patients across Walsall Manor Hospital as they keep in touch with their families and friends while COVID-19 visiting restrictions are in place.
Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s Patient Experience Team has co-ordinated a group of staff, volunteers and medical students who, along with the Older People’s Mental Health, have been supporting patients to make video calls.
Derek Jones, aged 86, video called his daughter Linda and described seeing her as “just smashing.” Linda said: “This is a fantastic service. I am in absolute awe and am so grateful as I couldn’t visit my dad and this means so much.”
“It was just lovely to see my daughter,” said great grandmother Doris Skitt, 96, who is recovering from a broken leg.
Her daughter Janice said “It was a lovely experience and so nice to connect with my mum. She looked better than I thought as when she was taken to hospital by ambulance I thought this may be the last time I would see her and it was so nice to see her feeling better.”
Medical Student Sarah Hickson has been offering the video calling facility on Ward 3 and she said it was working really well with patients while Amy Badkin, Senior Staff Nurse in Outpatients, added: “We have been using iPads for video calling for the last few weeks, initially there were a few connection problems but these have now been overcome.
“I feel this has made a big difference by enabling patients to see and talk to someone they recognise and psychologically this makes them feel good. As a staff member, I feel I’ve made a difference.”
Patient Experience Manager Kuldeep Singh said: “We have reconfigured the Friends and Family Test iPads with Walsall Healthcare’s IT team to support video calling apps such as Facetime, Zoom, Skype and MS Teams.
“Many patients do not have a smart phone or device or are unsure how to use these kinds of applications. We’ve been able to issue every inpatient ward with a device along with guidance for use.
“In these unprecedented, challenging times, this is great for patients’ general wellbeing and will aid recovery as they will be able to see and talk to their loved ones. And families and carers will get much needed reassurance and information about their loved one in hospital.”