Young Patients Use Skype To Catch Up With Friends And Family

Relieving long days on hospital wards

Patients can now fight the loneliness of long days on hospital wards as South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust (SWLSTG) has installed Skype on wards.

The Skype trial is underway in wards at Springfield, Tolworth and Richmond Royal hospitals and is already proving a success with service users.

Omar Mansaray, Clinical Nurse Manager at Corner House which is a unit for deaf children and adolescents with severe emotional and psychological problems, welcomed the arrival of the technology. He said: “It has been really, really wonderful. Some of our children are a long way from home so the opportunity to see their parents cheers them up when they are feeling low and obviously the telephone is no use.

"The technology has only been installed very recently, but it is already a welcome new facility and I know the children are delighted that we have it.”

It has also proved helpful for staff to contact parents at home and provide them with useful feedback to their concerns. This is especially true where the parents are also deaf.

orner House moved into a purpose-built ward earlier this year as the first part of the dedicated £3.2million Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) campus, which also includes a school which was rated ‘outstanding’ in its most recent Ofsted report.

Aquarius ward, a facility for 12-18-year-olds experiencing a mental health crisis, is currently being extensively refurbished and will open towards the end of the year.

Following a recent visit to Aquarius ward, Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Health, described the staff as “wonderful”.

July 10, 2014