Holiday messaging service at Hull hospitals as visitors restricted

Hull hospitals are launching a new messaging service for patients staying in over the festive period.

The hospital chaplains are encouraging relatives and friends of patients to email them with messages at their dedicated address. The messages will then be delivered to a patient in person.

The initiative, started by Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust’s Pastoral and Spiritual Care Team, was launched to bring comfort to patients as hospital visiting restrictions remain in place amidst the rise in COVID-19 cases.

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It was initially created for those who have little to no means of outside communication, but it is open for all to use.

Tony Brookes, Head of Chaplaincy for the Trust said: “There’s never a good time to be in hospital, but to be hospitalised in the run up to the festive season and with visiting very much restricted for Covid safety reasons at the moment, we felt the need to do something for our patients.

The Pastoral and Spiritual Care Team

“We appreciate many patients will have mobiles these days and will be able to keep in touch with loved ones by phone or social media, but there will be some who don’t own a phone, perhaps they don’t know how to use a mobile, or they may simply not be well enough to do so.

“We’d like to make sure those patients in particular, who cannot communicate with family or receive visitors in the coming weeks, still have the opportunity to connect with loved ones and know that they are still thinking of them.

“Quite simply, we’re inviting people to send us the details of their friend or relative, and we’ll pass on any messages, poems, stories or good wishes which they choose to share with us. It’s such a small gesture but one we think will make a huge difference to many patients in our care this Christmastime.”

The teams across Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital will be running the service from Monday, December 20 and intend to offer it into the New Year or as long as the visiting restrictions remain in place at the trust.

It will run from Monday to Friday, with any messages delivered over the weekend to be picked up on the following Monday.

The messages can be emailed to to [email protected] along with the name of the patient, the ward, unit or department they are on, which hospital they are in, and any other information which may help the team to identify the patient.

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