A man is sharing the story of how our Virtual Visits scheme helped him to connect with his mum in hospital during the pandemic.
Like any son, Mark Thompson was worried when his mum Hazel was admitted to hospital with heart failure.
His worries were made worse by the fact he lives in York and the COVID-19 pandemic has placed limits on hospital visiting.
Mark found out about our Linking Loved Ones programme after a chat with his sister Kay. which keeps families in contact while visiting is suspended.
But after a chat with his sister Kay, Mark found out about our Linking Loved Ones programme which keeps families in contact while visiting is suspended.
Offering Virtual Visits via iPads or reading out email messages to patients unable to use a phone comfortably, Linking Loved Ones has quickly proven a huge benefit to patients and their families and friends.
Mark, a published novelist whose debut ‘Dust’ has been published in several languages, said: “The virtual visit was fabulous. It was just fantastic.
“I live a distance away and because of COVID-19 I couldn’t come to see mum. I really wanted to see her though.”
Setting up Mark’s virtual visit
Mark continued: “The level of efficiency from the hospital team was incredible. I emailed to ask for a visit to be set up and someone soon called me back and we booked in a time for the visit. Mum isn’t great with technology. I was at home on my tablet and a hospital volunteer called Kirsty helped mum on the ward to use the IPad. Just seeing her face was a real relief.
“A phone call is one thing, but it’s not the same as seeing someone. Mum really felt like she’d had a visit. And it was better for me to be able to see her as well as speak to her as well.
“It’s a fantastic system and it worked flawlessly.”
Hazel has now been discharged from University Hospital of North Tees. She is convalescing at home with support from the community nursing team.
David Piggott is Quality Improvement Lead and manager of the Linking Loved Ones team. He said: “I’m thrilled Mark and Hazel were able to see each other and have a catch up. It’s exactly why we introduced this service.
“Mark was kind enough to put out a tweet complimenting us on the Linking Loved Ones programme. I hope it encourages others to get in touch so we can help them see their loved ones in hospital.”
Set up a virtual visit
To request a virtual visit or to have a letter or message read to a loved one, please email: [email protected]