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Families unable to visit loved-ones in intensive care can watch video sharing how they are treated

Families unable to visit loved-ones in intensive care can watch video sharing how they are treated

by Danielle Thompson (May 2020)

FAMILIES unable to visit loved-ones in intensive care in Southport can now access a video showing where their relatives are being treated.

In a bid to help families better understand the treatment being given to isolated critical Covid-19 patients, Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust has shared this video.

Angela Westwood, Matron for the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Trust said: “As we are unable to allow visitors at the moment, we are learning as we go - working to find new ways to help families and patients feel connected and less isolated.

“We invite families to send in photos and put these on the walls to help create a more homely environment. Picture badges, which allow patients to see the face of those caring for them are helping to reduce some of the issues which come from nursing in face masks.”

Families of less-poorly coronavirus patients are able to carry out video and phone conversations with patients, and get regular phone updates from staff, while they are in hospital. However, this is not always impossible in ICU because of the condition of the patients.

Anxious families have been asking staff for more information, not only about how their relatives are, but also what their surroundings are and who is with them during their time in the unit.

Mel Pinnington and her colleague Kerry Critchley who both work in ICU, came up with the idea of making the simple video which shows an empty intensive care unit space.

Mel added: “We spend a lot of our time speaking to families to provide reassurance about the care their relatives are receiving. Their first priority is to know how patients are doing, but because people are unable to visit, they often want to know where there loved-one is, who is with them and what their surroundings are.

“Unfortunately, patients in ICU are in a critical condition, which makes this an extremely difficult time for families who are unable to be there.”

Kerry added: “We wanted to make this video to show people where patients are when they are admitted to ICU, and what they can see from their bed. We also wanted to show people the level of PPE we are wearing, which can sometimes make it difficult to communicate.

“We have found that the more people know and understand about the environment their relatives are in, the less anxious they feel.

“That is why we put the video together, and I hope people will find it helpful during what is an extremely challenging time for all.”

To watch the video on YouTube, go to https://is.gd/aAiiH4 or to find out more about the ICU, go to http://www.lihnnhs.info/icuknowledge/

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