A special relatives’ phone line to enable families to check on their loved ones at Bradford Teaching Hospitals which was set up at the start of the pandemic is set to continue.
The help line is staffed by five qualified nurses seven days a week, from 9.30am to 5.30pm, and staff are able to access a patient’s medical records to give accurate information in a calm environment, away from the busy wards.
The service initially began in April 2020 when visiting arrangements were temporarily suspended due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and has continued throughout the past two years.
Assistant Chief Nurse, Karen Bentley said:
The helpline has proved so successful and reassuring for families that the Trust has expanded its hours and it now covers all wards.
We are keen to remind and encourage relatives to use this number if they are worried about a loved one as when wards are busy, the team can provide up-to-date information and instant communication.
This dedicated helpline also means our ward staff are freed up to continue to care for patients without getting interrupted to answer telephone calls. All visiting arrangements should still continue to be made through individual wards.
The relatives’ phone number is 01274 272747 and the patient’s named, next-of-kin can receive basic patient details if they are concerned about their loved one or seeking a daily update on their condition.
The nursing team mainly deals with enquiries about patients in A&E, the COVID-19 ward and the acute medical unit which covers wards 1 and 4 but the helpline has recently been expanded to cover all wards.
Staff Nurse, Jo Jacomb, who works on the relatives’ telephone line team, added:
The patient’s next of kin should act as the point of contact for sharing information with the patient’s other relatives.
Families really appreciate the information we have been giving them and it reassures them when they understand that we are trained nurses and have the capacity to read a patient’s notes and have the time and space for more indepth conversations about their loved ones.
The only information we can’t impart are scan or other important test results as these must come from the doctor or ward staff.
The Trust is also continuing to operate its ‘Thinking of you’ service which is a dedicated email address for loved ones to send letters via email to our patients: ThinkingOfYou@bthft.nhs.uk
For the latest up-to-date information on visiting, please visit the Trust website https://www.bradfordhospitals.nhs.uk/