Information for patients
This leaflet can be made available in other formats including large print, CD and Braille and in languages other than English, upon request.
A lot of our patients want to update their families themselves, which we encourage and support, but if you do not want to do this yourself we have introduced some ways to help keep your relatives updated on your care.
If you want to use this service, please let your family or friend know about the service. We are trying to make sure that when you want us to, we give your families information and updates about your care.
This means that your relatives do not need to telephone the Ward, and means the staff have your update information available to give to your relative. It also means the Ward staff get less interruptions while they are caring for you and other patients.
Why has the way the hospital communicates with relatives changed?
Coronavirus has changed the way in which patient’s relatives and staff are able to communicate, this is due to the restrictions in place which mean your relatives are unable to visit you in hospital. This will help us keep our patients, your relatives and our staff safe by reducing the chance of catching Coronavirus.
The feedback from those at home is that they are worrying about their loved ones in hospital and that they are frustrated being unable to get information regarding the condition of those in our care. We have introduced these different ways of speaking to relatives to help us to provide timely information to those at home with your permission.
What is Virtual Visiting?
Virtual visits let you safely keep in touch with your loved ones via a video call on a handheld device (iPad).
What will happen?
A member of staff will bring an iPad to you at your bedside at an agreed time. They will stay with you to help set up your visit with your nominated person. Once the visit has been set up, they will leave you with the device for the duration of your visit, which can last up to 15 minutes. The staff member will return after the visit to remove and clean the iPad.
How do I arrange a virtual visit?
When you are admitted to a Ward, a member of staff will ask you if you want to have virtual visits. If you do, they will ask for the name and telephone number of the person (your nominated person) that you would like to have a virtual visit with. You will also be asked to create a password.
If you are able to, please share the password you have agreed with your nominated person and ask them to contact the Patient Experience Team on 01642 624719 to book an appointment for a virtual visit.
Your nominated person can telephone between the hours of 9.00am and 5.00pm, Monday to Friday to make an appointment. If you are not able to share your password with your nominated person, please let a member of Ward staff know so they can contact them on your behalf.
Once your nominated person has contacted the Patient Experience Team, they will be asked to confirm your name and password and a visit will be arranged. Virtual visits can take place between 12pm and 4pm every day including weekends and can last up to 15 minutes.
What are Courtesy Calls?
We understand that it is sometimes worrying if people at home are unable to visit you and speak to Ward staff to receive an update on your care.
If you give permission to keep your nominated person updated, a member of Ward staff will telephone them regularly – this is called a Courtesy Call – to let them know how you are.
What are Clinical Updates?
This lets a member of the clinical Ward team speak to your nominated person to give them more information than they would get during a Courtesy Call. A member of the Ward team will telephone your nominated person to arrange a telephone appointment for this update to take place.
How to book a Courtesy Call or Clinical Update
When you are admitted to a Ward, the staff will ask you if you would like to nominate a person to receive a Courtesy Call or Clinical Update on your care. You will be asked to provide their name, telephone number and provide a password. If you are able to, please share the password you have agreed with your nominated person.
If you cannot do this but still want your nominated person to have information about your care while you are in hospital, please let the Ward staff know. The Ward staff will then contact your nominated person to give them a Courtesy Call or arrange an appointment time for a Clinical Update.
Keeping it confidential
The Trust must maintain your confidentiality and will only share your information with your nominated person if you have given explicit consent and they have provided the correct password. If this cannot be given, your information will not be shared.
When patients are very poorly or confused and need the support of a family member or friend while they are in hospital, we encourage John’s Campaign.
John’s Campaign is a national campaign for patients with learning disabilities, dementia and additional needs, which allows a patients’ relative or carer to stay with them while they are in hospital.
A relative or carer is able to stay with a patient on the Ward, this is agreed at the Ward Matron’s discretion.
When patients are at the end of their life, following discussion with the Ward Matron, a relative or carer could stay with the patient to provide support and comfort.
Please note that you can opt in to or out of these services at any time. You can also change your nominated person. If you would like to do this, please speak to a member of staff on the Ward.
Your nominated person can contact the Patient Experience Team –
Telephone: 01642 624719
Monday – Friday, 9.00am – 5.00pm to make an appointment for a Virtual Visit with you.
Courtesy Calls and Clinical Updates
The Ward staff will contact the person nominated by you for a Courtesy Call or arrange an appointment for a Clinical Update. A clinical staff member will telephone your nominated person at the agreed appointment time.
Comments, concerns, compliments or complaints
Patient Experience Team (PET)
We are continually trying to improve the services we provide. We want to know what we’re doing well or if there’s anything which we can improve, that’s why the Patient Experience Team (PET) is here to help. Our Patient Experience Team is here to try to resolve your concerns as quickly as possible. The office is based on the ground floor at the University Hospital of North Tees if you wish to discuss concerns in person. If you would like to contact or request a copy of our PET leaflet, please contact:
Telephone: 01642 624719
Freephone: 0800 092 0084
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 4:00pm
Email: [email protected]
Out of hours
Out of hours if you wish to speak to a senior member of Trust staff, please contact the hospital switchboard who will bleep the appropriate person.
Telephone: 01642 617617
Data protection and use of patient information
The Trust has developed Data Protection policies in accordance with Data Protection Legislation (UK General Data Protection Regulations and Data Protection Act 2018) and the Freedom of Information Act 2000. All of our staff respect these policies and confidentiality is adhered to at all times. If you require further information on how we process your information please see our Privacy Notices.
Telephone: 01642 383551
Email: [email protected]Privacy Notices
This leaflet has been produced in partnership with patients and carers. All patient leaflets are regularly reviewed, and any suggestions you have as to how it may be improved are extremely valuable. Please write to the Clinical Governance team, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospital of North Tees, TS19 8PE or:
Email: [email protected]
Leaflet reference: PIL1269
Date for review: 09/12/2023