Staying in touch with loved ones is so important, which is why a more accessible virtual visiting system has been launched at Yeovil Hospital allowing patients to have the much-needed social contact with their relatives.

It became noticeable that some patients did not have their own smart devices and when visiting restriction where brought in throughout the NHS some patients were left with limited access to family and friends. 

At the start of the pandemic, the Trust supported the use of video calls to increase interactions between patients and their families. However, not everyone is tech-savvy or has access to the devices needed.

Deputy Chief Nurse Mark Robinson said: “Visiting has presented some unique challenges.

“We knew we needed to find a long-lasting solution to ensure patients could stay in touch with their loved ones. Although we are opening up face-to-face visiting with pre booked appointments, the virtual option has been a fantastic step for families unable to get to the hospital, whether that is due to childcare commitments or distance. The virtual calls can bring relatives together from wherever they are in the world, ensuring patients get the contact which we know helps their recovery.”

This initiative was made possible by the Trust’s willing volunteers as well as The Friends of Yeovil Hospital who generously donated new smart tablets for the wards. The extra tablets have been hugely beneficial during the pandemic and continue to offer the opportunity for patients to connect with their loved ones. Relatives can book online via the hospital website and the patient will be supported on the ward by one of the trained hospital volunteers, using a tablet provided by the Trust.

Mark add: “Over the last year we have tried a few different options when it comes to video calling, but having listened to the feedback from our patients’ relatives, the video calls now all take place using WhatsApp. Many patients are still using their own devices but this scheme is aimed at those who don’t own a device and need additional support with technology that is new to them.”

One relative said: “I just wanted to say thank you very much for arranging the video call between my dad and me today. It was the first time I’d seen him in three weeks and it meant an awful lot”.

If you are interested in booking a virtual visiting session or a face-to-face visit, please click here:

All appointments will be from Monday to Friday between 2pm to 4pm and will last for 20 minutes. Session can only be booked up to 72 hours in advance. Each appointment will take place via WhatsApp video calling and will not include any discussion with doctors or nurses regarding the patients care.


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