MORE than 1,000 calls a week are being made to a special relatives’ phone line at Bradford Teaching Hospitals which was set up at the start of the pandemic and has continued to enable families to check on inpatients at a time when visiting is restricted.
The help line is staffed by 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.
The service began this April when visiting arrangements were temporarily suspended and continued throughout the summer.
As the second wave builds, the Trust wants to remind the public that a number of resources are there to support family members unable to visit.
Families of patients can call the relatives’ phone line on 01274 272747 and receive basic details if they are concerned about their loved ones.
Relatives are being asked to identify one family member to be a point of contact for sharing information within the family, who can ring the relatives’ line once a day for an update if the clinical area in question is using the service.
Laura Booth, Quality Lead Nurse for Patient Experience, said: “I’d like to remind relatives of our inpatients that the Trust has a number of resources to support family members unable to visit their loved ones.
“We’re sorry that we recently had to suspend visiting to patients who have been with us for more than 21 days, however we’ve made this difficult decision amid an increase on pressure to our services due to the second wave of the pandemic.
“Our relatives’ telephone information line takes calls for some of our busiest wards. Please contact the ward or relatives’ line on 01274-272747 from 10.15am to 5.30pm, to see if the clinical area in question is using this service.”
The Trust continues to support end-of-life visits, difficult conversation support, and support carers to attend where the patient needs physical or cognitive support (for example, patients who have dementia or a learning disability) with restrictions in place on the length of visit and the number of visitors allowed. For further information, please click here.
The Trust also operates a ‘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
Many wards also have video calling in place and may be able to assist with video calls where there is no visiting.
Laura added: “The relatives’ phone line is a service that is much in demand, so please be patient and wait if you are placed in a queue as we will come to you as soon as possible.
“Families really appreciate the information we have been giving them. To reassure relatives 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 doctors and ward staff will still need to give scan results and other important test results.
“The best thing about it is that we are able to speak directly to people and communicate information about a patient’s condition in a caring, empathetic and clear way that families can understand too.”
Chief Nurse, Karen Dawber added: “We know that this is a very worrying time for families, who have a loved one in hospital and we hope this dedicated relatives’ line will keep relatives up-to-date with developments and provide reassurance about their relative.
“Family members and carers will be able to get a condition status on their relative and we will also be able to provide information on COVID-19 status, such as their COVID-19 test if they have had a swab performed plus guidance if the test is positive.
“This dedicated line also means that our staff on the wards will be able to continue to care for patients without getting interrupted to answer telephone calls.
“We would like to take the opportunity to thank all of our community for 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 maintain social distancing and frequently washing hands.”
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Note to Editors:
- 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.
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For more information please visit www.bradfordhospitals.nhs.uk