Last week it was confirmed that we will be purchasing at least one shared tablet for every ward and inpatient site to enable patients to share feedback and to keep in touch with their families and carers (via Skype).
This is great news!
The use of shared tablets was initially restricted, following Government guidelines, due to the risk of COVID transmission via devices such as tablets, as was the use of survey forms (to read more about how we’re adapting in these times, read my earlier blog here). In the absence of both, and with no volunteers permitted into our services, we felt there was a real risk that patients living in our services with little access to the internet or mobile phones may not have the opportunity to provide feedback in a safe way. It concerned us that people might not speak up about things that needed addressing and improving, and that patients would not be able to praise good care in a way that enabled us to really celebrate staff going above-and-beyond at the moment.
The restrictions on shared tablets have now been lifted – mainly because we know we are able to manage the risks. The benefit of patients being able to give feedback and keep in touch with their families outweighs the low risk that a shared tablet, when properly cleaned and maintained, poses to anyone.
The Trust’s executives have confirmed that they will cover the cost of a shared tablet on every ward/inpatient site because they recognise the importance of family contact and feedback. This is a really good sign, that the senior leadership at Notts Healthcare understand how important it is to hear from patients and how important it is for patients to be in touch with their families and carers when they are isolated and not currently having visitors.
Our team (Involvement, Experience and Volunteering) are currently planning for how we prepare and distribute all the tablets – loading onto each the vital software and providing a ‘Getting started’ pack for the team receiving the tablet so that they can get the most out of it. We’re aiming to have the tablets on the wards within, or shortly after, National Carers’ Week (8th-14th June) – which is a nice coincidence!
This is really good news – another example of being responsive and focussed in how we all support our patients through this difficult time.