University supplies iPads to keep hospital inpatients in touch with families

30 April 2020

The University of Derby has supplied iPads to help patients being treated in hospital during the coronavirus pandemic to keep in touch with their families while in hospital.

A total of 25 iPads have been delivered to Chesterfield Royal Hospital, all of which can be used by patients who are not able to see their loved ones while on the wards.

The hospital’s ICT and infrastructure team will configure the donated devices so that patients can connect to relatives using a variety of apps, including Facetime, Microsoft Teams and Zoom.

Ian Hazel, Director of IT and Infrastructure at the Chesterfield Royal Hospital, said: “Being in hospital can be difficult for people at the best of times and not having the comfort of regular visitors can be very isolating. Wherever possible we’ve tried to keep our patients in touch with their loved ones and, thanks to the technology available, we have ways of being able to do that.

“We’ve been absolutely overwhelmed with donations from across the county and, thanks to the close working relationship we have with the University of Derby, our patients will truly benefit from this fantastic gesture. The wellbeing of our patients is an important part of their recovery and we’d like to thank everyone at the university for their continued support and for helping our patients in this way.

Last month, the University donated thousands of items of personal protective equipment to Chesterfield Royal, as well as to the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust (UHDB).

The University is also working with specialist manufacturing companies to provide protective visors for hospital staff at UHDB.

Professor Kathryn Mitchell DL, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, said: “The necessary isolation of COVID-19 patients and restrictions on all inpatient visiting puts an added strain on their families because their relatives are unable to visit in person.

“Using iPads to enable virtual visiting and maintain contact is important for the mental health and emotional resilience of patients and their families, at what is probably one of the most challenging times of their lives.

“To be able to offer whatever resources we can to help in the effort to combat COVID-19, whether it is our students supporting key workers on the frontline in our hospitals, donating and manufacturing personal protective equipment or finding ways of connecting families, we must and will continue to play our part as a civically-engaged university.”

For more information about what the University of Derby is doing to help our local hospitals to combat the coronavirus pandemic, please visit our website.

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