Virtual Visits and telephone updates
We can help patients to stay in touch with their loved ones.
A lot of our patients may want to update their families themselves, but for those who may not want to or need support as they are unable to do so themselves, we have introduced some ways to help:
- Virtual visiting
- Updates by our clinical professionals – Courtesy Call/Clinical Updates
- Letters of love/cards
- Personal items drop off
- Access to support a patient via John’s Campaign
Find out more about the different ways to stay in touch below. To arrange a Virtual Visit, contact the team on 01642 624222.
Ways to keep in touch
Catch up and check in with virtual visiting
Virtual visits help our patients and relatives to safely keep in touch, with a video call through Microsoft Teams on a handheld device (iPad). This may be especially important for remaining in contact with relatives and loved ones who live overseas.
Virtual visits can take place between 1pm and 3pm every day, including weekends, and can last up to 15 minutes.
When a patient is admitted to a ward a member of staff will ask if they wish to receive a virtual visit. The patient will then be asked to provide the name and telephone number of their relative (nominated person) and will be asked to create a password (to make sure our patient’s confidentiality is maintained).
Where possible patients will share the password with the relative and ask them to contact the Virtual Visiting Hub to book an appointment for a virtual visit.
A member of our Volunteer Team will take the iPad to the patient’s bedside prior to the pre-booked virtual visit and stay with them to help set up the visit. They will then leave for the duration of the call.
Additionally, once the patient’s nominated person arranges the visit they can request to the Virtual Visiting Hub to include additional relatives in the visit and the Team Link can also be sent to them to allow a larger family visit.
Health updates with our clinical professionals
Get updates on your loved ones health with phone catch ups with our clinical professionals.
We understand that it is sometimes worrying if people at home are unable to visit and speak to ward staff to receive an update on the care of a patient. If the patient gives permission to keep a nominated person updated, a member of ward staff will telephone them regularly – this is called a Courtesy Call.
A member of the clinical ward team will speak with the patient’s nominated person to give them more information than they would get during a Courtesy Call. A member of the ward team will telephone the nominated person to arrange a telephone appointment for this update to take place.
Arranging a courtesy call or clinical update
When a patient is admitted to a ward, a member of staff will ask if they wish their relative to receive a courtesy call or clinical update. Once approved, the patient will provide the name and telephone number of the nominated person and will be asked to create a password.
Where possible patients will share the password with the nominated person. The ward staff will then contact the nominated person to give them a courtesy call or to arrange an appointment time for clinical update.
Personal items drop off
We have a simple process in place to drop off personal items for relatives of in-patients at the University Hospital of North Tees.
To drop off belongings:
Within business hours – Call in to our patient experience team office in the North Wing, Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm. Turn left at the main reception entrance and the office is situated behind the fish tank.
After 4pm – Outside of these hours, please go to our Security Office, which is located by turning right at the main reception.
Please ensure you place the personal items in a bag and clearly label it with the patient’s name and the ward number.
The following items are not permitted:
- Drugs/medication of any kind
- Cigarettes/lighters or vaping equipment
If you would like to arrange a collection of laundry, please contact the appropriate ward directly.
Letters of love
We provide a delivery service for family and loved ones who may want to send letters of love or get well cards to our patients.
Please drop off your letters to our patient experience team office at the University Hospital of North Tees, Monday to Friday, from 9am to 4pm. The team can be located by turning left at the main reception and looking for the office situated behind the fish tank.
Please ensure you clearly label the letter or card with the patients name and ward number and the team will ensure your letter is delivered to the appropriate ward.
When our patients are very poorly or confused and need the additional support of a family member or friend while they are in hospital, we will encourage and support this through John’s Campaign.
John’s Campaign is a national campaign for patients with learning disabilities, dementia and additional needs which allow a patients’ relative or carer to stay with them while they are in hospital.
Once agreed with a ward matron (and at their discretion) relatives, friends or carers can:
- Stay with a patient on the ward to provide support
- Provide love, support and comfort to patients who may be at the end of their life
Key contact information:
Virtual visit contact:
The telephone line is open 9am to 12pm and then 1pm to 4pm, Monday to Friday to make an appointment.
Patient Experience Team:
Open Monday to Friday, 9.00am – 4pm to receive personal items and letters for our patients.
Ward staff will contact the person nominated by our patient for a Courtesy Call or arrange an appointment for a Clinical Update. A clinical staff member will telephone the nominated person at the agreed appointment time.