Coronavirus doesn’t stop family and friends from staying in touch with patients at NDDH

People with family and friends who are patients at North Devon District Hospital (NDDH) have still been able to keep in touch, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hospital had to put visitor restrictions in place in March to support the Government’s social distancing measures, and as a precautionary measure to protect patients and staff. To help families and friends stay connected during this difficult time, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust (NDHT) has set up a special service whereby friends and family members of patients can email their messages, pictures or drawings, which staff are printing out and delivering safely.

Pictured donning their PPE to deliver the mail are (L-R): Emma Clark, Nursing Associate ICU, David Pile, Staff Nurse ICU and Juliet Parkin, Matron, ICU.

So far, more than 50 items have been delivered to patients in all wards, including the Intensive Care Unit. This has enabled loved ones to maintain a vital link with patients while they are unable to visit them in person. Pictures drawn by grandchildren, photos and family updates have all been passed on to patients by hospital staff.

When the patients have had difficulty reading the messages, staff have sat with them and read their letter to them. All of the patients that have received mail have been touched, and have said it has brightened their day.

Teresa Sturm, patient experience matron at Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “This service has been so important to both patients and their loved ones, and we’re really pleased that we set it up. It’s been lovely to see the smiles on faces that have come from seeing a note or a drawing. It’s the little things like this that can make a huge difference to patients at such a difficult time.”

If you have mail you would like to send to a patient at NDDH, simply email

ndht.patientexperience@nhs.net with subject line PATIENT COMMUNICATION, and include the name of the patient, the ward they are on, and your message.

Posted in News.

Last updated: May 1, 2020