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Meet the team


  • Ruth Askew
  • Katharine Barnes
  • Emily Clarke
  • Phillip Llewellyn
  • Nicola Pagett
  • Sarah Woollard

What is the positive change that has emerged through new collaborations or partnerships during Covid-19 that your project is going to embed?

Patients present to hospital with acute illness and require support from their loved ones. Furthermore, their loved ones want to know how they are doing and their progress from the nursing, medical and allied health professional point of view. Traditionally, we rely on the ward telephone or the patient’s personal mobile, but this has its own restrictions.

We have already altered the processes on the ward, to include scheduled updates for the patient’s next of kin, and telephone conversations with loved ones is a more common aspect of a patient’s admission. Through this project, different members of the inpatient multidisciplinary team will work with patients to consider how best to include their loved ones in the treatment and rehabilitation process, which will include understanding of the steps of including loved ones coupled with technological innovation.

What does your project aim to achieve?

Being an inpatient during the pandemic can be isolating, with no visitors and often difficult access to equipment for patients who are possible or confirmed coronavirus. The project is looking at how we can maintain the high quality of geriatric care despite these limitations.

The aim of the project is for our hospital staff to be the loved ones when the loved ones cannot be there. We want to get as close to having a patient’s loved one at their side, and (where appropriate) for them to be involved in treatment decisions, whilst appreciating the limitations of visiting hospital during the pandemic. Screens and cameras enabled with video messaging and conferencing will be available for patients to use, and this will be coupled with innovations in the ways that we approach involving loved ones in the processes of the care of patients.

How will the project be delivered?

The project team involves people from different professional backgrounds, and we will liaise with the Health Board estates and information technology team. We have links with the RCP Patient and Carer Network and will seek input and feedback about progressing utilising the technology. We have already undertaken a preliminary audit and will seek feedback from patients and their loved ones to the benefits of the interventions. The primary outcome is patient satisfaction, though secondary outcomes will be collected evaluating how early and involved inclusion in loved ones in the communication about care plans may affect timely medical management and appropriate discharge.

The project is supported by the ward team including rehabilitation assistants who get patients back to their physical and psychological baseline following their illness. Staff will teach patients to use the technology  alongside providing patients with the consumables, that due to the pandemic cannot come from a shared supply.

How is your project going to share learning?

The project team members have links with other teams across Wales and would hope to produce a blueprint for sharing the learning in other inpatient units across the country and beyond. The patient feedback will be valuable to expressing the learning from the project, and this can be shared with the wider Q community. The learning will be shared with the Co-Production Network Wales and RCP Patient and Carer Network to help other professional groups work with other patient groups during the pandemic.

The sharing will help to answer the dilemma that many health care professionals are currently dealing with – how can we provide excellent geriatric care despite the limitations the pandemic has presented.

How you can contribute

  • How have you solved the issues that present when loved ones have not been allowed to visit hospital?
  • Are there any technological innovations that you use to better connect with patients' loved ones?
  • Other than patient satisfaction, how best would you measure an improvement when improving involvement of a patient's loved ones in their inpatient care?

Plan timeline

16 Nov 2020 Preliminary Audit of patient care on suspected COVID wards
7 Dec 2020 Liaise with RCP patient and carer re: audit
1 Mar 2021 Tablets in circulation
8 Mar 2021 PDSA 1: Rehabiliation Assistant Training and single paient use
5 Apr 2021 PDSA cycle 2: appropriate utilisation to wider group
3 May 2021 Patient satisfaction survey


  1. Hi Richard. Good to see your idea here. A lot of hospitals have been experimenting with using technology to support visiting (e.g. Portsmouth has also employed Family Liaison Officers to support families to communicate It might be worth getting in touch with them or with Q members from these areas (you can use the member search) to help develop and get feedback on your ideas.

    Good luck with your project! Emma

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