SDH embraces technology to keep patients connected with loved ones

SDH embraces technology to keep patients connected with loved ones

Published by Faye Tryhorn at 5:38am 30th April 2020.

3 minute read

A new 'Virtual Visiting' service is being rolled out across Salisbury District Hospital.

The idea started on the wards treating Covid-19 patients, to give people a way of keeping in touch with friends and relatives while they're having treatment.

But it's now being expanded across the hospital site as visiting is being restricted due to the pandemic.

Virtual Visiting at Salisbury District Hospital
Henry Lucas was the first patient to use the Virtual Visiting service - he's pictured here with Healthcare Assistant Liz Legg

Staff across the Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust are working on wards to help patients with their own devices to get set up for video calls.

They are also lending patients iPads to use during their stay to make sure as many patients as possible can access the virtual visiting.

Chargers and stands are also being provided by the hospital.


Henry Lucas (pictured above) was the first patient at Salisbury District Hospital to make use of the service. 

He has been recovering at the hospital after testing positive for Covid-19.

Claire Downs, an Occupational Therapist at SDH, who worked with Mr Lucas on his rehabilitation said:

“I have no doubt that for Henry, being able to both speak to and see his family was really important.  I am so pleased that we could provide this for him and I am sure that this has contributed to his recovery”. 

Henry's expected to be discharged from the hospital later this week.

Tisbury Ward Salisbury District Hospital NHS Stay at Home Coronavirus Message March 2020
SDH staff have been asking visitors to stay away from the hospital if possible, so virtual visiting means they can stay connected with loved ones

Rachel Halliwell is a Nurse Practitioner in Respiratory Care and explains how it all works: 

She says it's been brilliant for everyone at SDH: 

"It's a great way to just perk everybody up. It's a massive boost for the staff and their morale to see the patients happy. Obviously, the patients are really enjoying seeing their relatives, and for those at home who are concerned, it just gives that added reassurance when you can physically see someone."

Salisbury District Hospital - SDH - Main Entrance (Mike Draper) (1)
The virtual visiting is said to be boosting staff morale, patient mood and helping friends and friends feel reassured

If you know someone who's currently an inpatient at Salisbury District Hospital, the advice is to get in touch with the ward sister and they'll give advice on getting the calls set up for patients.

Nurse Practitioner Rachel Halliwell says the service will probably remain in some form once the Covid-19 crisis is over too: 

"None of us know what the future's holding, but certainly for relatives that find it difficult to come to hospital, or friends who live far away or in other countries, it's definitely something that we can really utilise."

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