New relatives’ information line receives over 3,000 calls in two weeks

A NEW telephone information line set up by Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (BTHFT) to provide basic details to relatives concerned about loved-ones in hospital during the Covid-19 pandemic has handled more than 3,000 calls since its launch just two weeks ago.

The dedicated line – 01274 272747 – is open seven days a week from 9:30am to 5:30pm (including bank holidays) and staffed by eight fully-qualified nurses or clinical staff at any one time. The line is currently only taking calls for relatives of inpatients on Ward 4, 20, 31 and A&E. 

Relatives are being asked to identify one family member who can contact the line once a day and share the information they receive.

Assistant Chief Nurse (Informatics), Kay Pagan, has led the delivery of the new service alongside Angela Grange, Head of Nursing, Research and Innovation at the Trust.

Angela said: “Relatives have really appreciated the information we have been giving them. We are able to access the patient’s notes from the previous shift and ward round and, when needed, Covid-19 test results too.

“The best thing about it is that we are able to speak directly to people, and as the staff are fully-qualified nurses and clinically-trained they have the skills to interpret the patient’s notes and communicate information about a patient’s condition in a caring, empathetic and clear way that families can understand too.”

Staff Nurse Jacquie Elliott has helped deliver the service. She said: “The most memorable call for me was a lady who rang about her mum who was in hospital and had been diagnosed with Covid-19. She knew her mum was dying and rang for regular updates.”

With visiting at our hospitals currently restricted, Jacquie told the caller more about our Thinking of You message service, a dedicated email inbox we have created to allow relatives to send messages and videos to loved-ones, which our team members can then deliver to patients in all areas.

“I explained more about the Thinking of You service and the caller said she was going to go away and think about what to write to her mum. I then spoke to the Sister on the ward and explained that the patient needed to receive the message urgently.

Touched her heart

“The Sister then read the message to the patient, and her feedback to me was that the patient had understood what was being said because she had been squeezing her hand. I rang her daughter back and, although very upset, she said we had touched her heart. She was really grateful.”

Jacquie added the information line was also relieving a lot of pressure on ward staff.

“Before the line was launched I worked as a ward clerk to help out and the phone never stopped. The new relatives’ line has taken a lot of pressure off staff.

“Some people just want to talk to somebody and that is not a problem.

“The service is making an important difference to people who cannot see their loved-ones because of the current visiting restrictions.”

Staff working on the line are also able to liaise with the Trust’s Interpreting Service to communicate with callers who do not speak English.

Chief Nurse, Karen Dawber, said: “We know that this is a very worrying time for families, who have a loved one in hospital so we have set up this dedicated line for them to speak to hospital staff and be able to get an update and reassurance about their relative.

“We realise the impact of not being able to visit is having on people and we are trying to help with this by offering a kind and compassionate service so people feel connected to their loved-ones.

“We would like to take the opportunity to thank all of our community in the support they are showing BTHFT and the NHS at this time. Please remember that the best way to protect and keep everyone safe is to continue maintaining social distancing and frequently wash your hands.”



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Note to Editors:


  1. Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust:

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is responsible for providing hospital services for the people of Bradford and communities across Yorkshire. We serve a core population of around 500,000 and provide specialist services for 1.1 million people.

Our 5,500 staff work over several sites, including Bradford Royal Infirmary, which provides the majority of inpatient services, and St Luke’s Hospital, which predominantly provides outpatient and rehabilitation services. We also manage local community hospitals at Westwood Park, Westbourne Green, and Eccleshill.

In early 2017, a new £28 million wing opened at Bradford Royal Infirmary, part of a £75m investment to improve patient care across our hospitals over a five-year period. It provides world-class facilities for elderly care, children’s services, a state-of-the-art intensive care unit with increased single-room provision and a retail concourse.

The new wing is a continuation of our work to improve patient experience after our new £2 million neonatal unit officially opened in January 2015. Our maternity services were recently shortlisted for the Royal College of Midwives’ (RCM) Midwifery Service of the Year Award, recognising excellence and innovation in the provision of maternity care.

In 2017, we also completed a £2m refurbishment of our Emergency Department (ED) as part of an ambitious vision to create a more efficient acute medicine service for the people of Bradford. It has been designed to provide a slicker and more efficient service, with faster senior clinical involvement at an early stage in the patient pathway.

As a teaching hospital, we are at the forefront of education and development in healthcare, and have an excellent reputation for research performance. We are one of the leading centres in conducting applied research in the country, particularly in quality and safety, elderly care and rehabilitation.

The Trust is home to the Bradford Institute for Health Research (BIHR) where researchers have led the development, validation and implementation of the award-winning Bradford Electronic Frailty Index (eFI) which helps calculate an elderly person’s risk of disability, impairment, falls and complications of chronic diseases, as well as their diminishing independence and capability. This is now being used by 98% of all GPs across the country.

Our award-winning Ophthalmology department is home to numerous worldwide clinical trials taking the lead in eye care research and we are one of only three sites in the United Kingdom to be enlisted in the Perioperative Enhanced Recovery Hip Fracture Care of Patients with Dementia (PERFECTED) study, which will investigate how the NHS can introduce better standards of care to improve outcomes for people with dementia.

The Trust has its own Bradford Hospitals Charity:

Follow us on Twitter: @BTHFT

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