Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trustlaunched a Thinking of you service, a way for loved ones to communicate with patients, in April.
The service has made a huge difference to patients who are delighted to receive a letter from home, a child’s drawing, or photograph of a loved one. Well over 1,000 messages have been distributed and the Trust has had lots of positive feedback from patients and their loved ones.
Therefore, the Trust has expanded the service to include those patients who do not have family or loved ones nearby and have not received any messages. Typically, there are up to 100 patients at any one time, often elderly, who have no contact with anyone other than staff while in Queen’s and King George hospitals, both run by the Trust.
Anyone can now send a get well message to one of these patients, to brighten their day while they are in hospital. Which is why this aspect of the Thinking of you service is called, ‘raise a smile’.
To send a message to a patient, all you need to do is fill in the online form on the Trust’s website, https://www.bhrhospitals.nhs.uk/thinking-of-you.
Tony Chambers, Chief Executive, said: “Our Thinking of you scheme has been really well received; however it has highlighted the fact that some of our more socially isolated patients have no contact with anyone other than hospital staff throughout their stay.
“Messages don’t need to be long, a simple heartfelt get-well message and perhaps a thoughtful picture, will certainly lift the spirits of these patients, and I am sure will be hugely appreciated.”