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Date: 23 September 2020

Time: 19:50

Gladys using an iPad provided by UHB Charity

Virtual visiting at UHB

Story posted/last updated: 30 July 2020

Whilst patient visitation is still restricted across University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) due to the on-going COVID-19 crisis, patients across the Trust are able to stay in contact with their loved ones thanks to virtual visits.

At the beginning of the pandemic, UHB Charity launched an urgent appeal for funds to support patients and staff across the hospitals. The response to this appeal was incredible, and UHB Charity has been able to fund 450 iPads which have been distributed to wards and departments across the Trust.

The iPads have been specially set up to enable virtual visits, allowing patients to speak to their loved ones using Zoom. Staff across the Trust have been vital in helping to facilitate the virtual visits, helping patients who are unfamiliar with using iPads to set up calls with their loved ones.

Virtual visits have provided a vital service for patients who have been in hospital during the pandemic. One patient, 87-year-old Charlie Grainger, spent nearly two weeks on Ward 24 at Heartlands Hospital being treated for COVID-19, before returning home after making a full recovery.

Charlie was one of the first patients to call his family from hospital using one of the iPads funded by UHB Charity. His niece, Janet Cave, said: "We were the first family to be able to contact our relative by video call and I know the team went the extra mile to make that happen.

"He was overjoyed to be able to see me from his hospital bed."

Mike Hammond, Chief Executive of UHB Charity, said:

"Since the outbreak of COVID-19 we have received an incredible level of support. This has enabled us to fund 450 iPads for patients across our Trust so that they can enjoy virtual visits with their loved ones.

"Patients like Charlie have benefited from this scheme and we are delighted that it is making such a difference at what continues to be a difficult time."

You can find out more about how UHB Charity has been supporting patients, staff and families during the pandemic in the "Links" section below.

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