Inspired by a scheme introduced at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) is launching a letter delivery service for patients to be able to hear from their friends and family during this difficult time.
With restricted visiting at our hospitals, it can feel like you’re ‘out of touch’ with your loved one. To help put your minds at ease, we’ve created a dedicated email address – firstname.lastname@example.org – for close family and friends to use to pass on their messages.
This service is being trialled at the John Radcliffe Hospital, with a view to rolling it out to other locations within the Trust. Letters will be delivered from Monday to Friday.
Here’s how to take part.
- 1. Email your ‘letter’ to email@example.com – either type your message directly into the email or attach it as a Word document.
- 2. Feel free to include a picture or two!
- 3. Tell us who the letter is for – there’s no need for their NHS number or date of birth, just their full name and the ward they are staying on.
- 4. Sign it with your name as the patient would recognise it (no need for titles or surnames!)
Here’s what will happen.
A member of the Patient Experience Team will acknowledge receipt of your letter and send it on to the Administrative Hub in the main JR. It will be printed (in colour) and delivered, in a sealed envelope, to the ward.
A member of ward staff will then make sure the letter gets to your loved one. All letters will be treated as confidential. If a patient is unable to open or read a letter we will ask their permission before opening or reading them out.
Feel free to send more than one letter, either all together from different family members or friends or throughout the week, to stay in touch as regularly as you like.
Sam Foster, Chief Nursing Officer, says:
We are missing having family and friends in the hospital visiting their loved ones, and recognise how difficult it is during this time for them not to be able to come and visit their loved ones.
I am really pleased that this new scheme will go some way towards enabling friends and family to keep in touch with their loved ones during this difficult time.
We hope that receiving these letters will provide a sense of reassurance and comfort for our patients, letting them know that their family and friends are thinking of them.
Oxfordshire system Covid-19 briefing
A weekly briefing from the Oxfordshire health and care system regarding COVID-19 is available on the OUH website.
The Oxfordshire Health and Care System, is made up of Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The briefing has a wealth of information which you may find helpful.
Trust Membership Scheme
If you have family or friends who would benefit from receiving this information, please invite them to become members of the Trust, they can do this by visiting www.ouh.nhs.uk/ft.