Hospital hails ‘morale boost’ after iPad donation for coronavirus patients

Broadland District Council deputy leader Trudy Mancini-Boyle hands over the iPads to Helena Scott, v

Broadland District Council deputy leader Trudy Mancini-Boyle hands over the iPads to Helena Scott, voluntary services co-ordinator (left back), Emma Taylor, voluntary services end of life co-ordinator (left front), Steve Kirk, digital health services manager (right back) and Tanya Lonergan Lee, digital health desktop services manager (right front). Pic: Broadland District Council. - Credit: Broadland District Council

Patients who are being treated for coronavirus in hospital have been given a helping hand to keep in touch with their families after a donation of dozens of iPads.

The donation of 40 iPads to patients on the COVID-19 wards of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) has been made by Broadland District Council.

Trudy Mancini-Boyle, deputy council leader and cabinet member for finance, said the role of councillors is to support the community and helping keep families connected during this difficult time was a way to do that.

She said: “I cannot imagine what it must be like to be poorly in hospital and not able to see your family.

“We wanted to support the hospital in their efforts to keep people in touch with their loved ones – albeit virtually - and donating the iPads made sense.

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“The old iPads are available as a result of the council’s ongoing programme to refresh IT equipment after five years.

“They are perfect for keeping people in touch, such as via Facetime, Skype or other remote communication tools.

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“It seemed a much better use of resources to donate them to where they can make a difference to the lives of local patients and their families.”

She said that, after the coronavirus crisis is over, the iPads would then be available for use by patients on other wards.

She said: “With 40 iPads there should be enough for one for every ward. This means patients, whether they’re a new mum or an older person with family or friends living outside of the area, can keep in touch. The technology is there even if their loved one can’t be.”

Sarah Higson, NNUH lead for patient engagement and experience, said: “We are extremely grateful for this donation and we are hoping to have iPads on every ward.

“We know that enabling people to see each other as well as speak to each other will make for much more meaningful communication and will make a huge difference to them.

“We will be able to reunite couples; parents, children and grandchildren and we know this will mean the world to them.

“This is also really important for our staff: knowing that you have done all you can for your patients and their loved ones is a major morale booster.”

MORE: The Norfolk neighbourhoods with the highest coronavirus death rates

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