Family and friends united with coronavirus patients

A brand new campaign to help coronavirus patients keep in contact with their family and friends has been launched at a Kent hospital.

The ‘Messages for Loved Ones’ initiative has been designed at the Medway Maritime in Gillingham to help relatives maintain contact following increased visiting restrictions imposed on those infected with the virus.

Created last week, the scheme is already rocketing with more than 70 messages, photos and words of comfort sent to patients across the hospital’s perimeters.

Coronavirus cases are increasing in the county

Medway NHS Foundation Trust patient experience manager Lyndsay Barrow is already acknowledging the campaign’s successful start.

She said: “It’s great to see that our patients are really benefiting from keeping in touch with their loved ones this way.

“All the messages we receive for patients are shared directly by the staff caring for the to ensure they know their friends and family are thinking of them.’’

Messages sent by email to medwayft.patientexperience@nhs.net along with contact details, the patient’s name and date of birth are assembled daily, before they are then taken directly to victims of the pandemic.

The scheme is also encouraging people to send in messages of support for staff at the hospital via the same address, many of whom who are working across Medway and Swale.

It’s great to see that our patients are really benefiting from keeping in touch with their loved ones this way”

The initiative arrives following the news that more than 300 temporary staff have been added to hospitals across East Kent.

462 people have now died from Covid-19 as of Sunday evening in the county, and more than 20,000 have also succumbed to the virus in the UK.

Medway Maritime Hospital. Picture: N Chadwick