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Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

CANCOM’s gift, helping loved ones stay in touch

While visiting restrictions are in place at Wirral University Teaching Hospital to keep patients and staff safe during the COVID-19 situation, the Trust is working hard to help families stay in touch with loved ones.

Wirral University Teaching Hospital’s dedicated Family Support Team is playing a key role to keep families in touch with patients by sharing messages, printing emails, photos and drawings. They’re also providing emotional support to family members.

A key initiative has been the use of iPads to help patients stay in contact with their family. Digital transformation specialists CANCOM donated ten iPads for our patients use on the wards, to keep in touch with their families and friends.

Tracey Hardcastle, VP Business Operations at CANCOM, said: “CANCOM has been donating iPads to a number of NHS Trusts. Although our UK Head Office is in London, I live on the Wirral. My godmother recently passed away at Arrowe Park, with caring, compassionate support. My goddaughter is a midwife with you and my youngest son was born there. I wanted to include Wirral University Teaching Hospital in the donations that we are making.”

Having iPads available on wards means that patients and their families are able to see, hear and speak to their loved ones. This can’t replace a visit, but hopefully brings comfort to both patients and their families and goes some way to ease feelings of isolation.

Janelle Holmes, Chief Executive, said: “While it was a difficult decision to restrict visiting, this has been necessary for the safety of patients and staff, which is our priority. We know that helping people stay in touch is essential and have been looking at ways we can use technology to do this such as the use of iPads. We’re very grateful to CANCOM for their generous gift. This has had a positive impact for our patients, their families and the staff on our wards.”

Keeping in touch is especially important when a patient is nearing the end of their life and although at this time a visit may be possible, families have also found real comfort in being able to maintain contact with loved ones virtually.

A family member described how important this was to them and sent in a message to WUTH staff which said: “My lovely mum who was a patient on ward 25, passed away this morning at about 5am. I wanted to thank everyone on your team who has been so helpful, supportive and understanding during this very difficult time. It was particularly comforting to be able to have FaceTime calls.”

The Family Support Team at Arrowe Park is available seven days a week, from 8.30am to 5pm and can be contacted by email wuth.familysupportteam@nhs.net or by phone on

0151 552 1833, 0151 552 1834 or 0151 552 1837.