February 2, 2022

Keeping families connected

“To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere, without moving anything but your heart”

― Phyllis Theroux


Visitor restrictions, whilst in place to keep patients, staff and the community safe during the current pandemic, can prove challenging for the loved ones of those in hospital.

Being keenly aware that regular contact with a loved one is an important part of a patients stay with us, Northern Health has a number of ways to help families remain informed and connected, including a virtual visit.

One of these ways is for families and friends to send a letter to be printed and shared with their loved ones to let them know they are thinking of them, and to send love and well wishes. It even allows for photographs; a happy smile from grandchildren, a favourite pet or just a funny selfie.

Camille Meredith, Acting Allied Health Informatics Officer, says, “Once we receive the communication we print it on stationary, specially designed for this purpose, to share with the patient.”

“We ensure this personalised service is treated in confidence by the small number of staff who run it,” she adds.

Tracey Webster, from the Digital Health team, says, “The idea is for staff to get to know their patients better from the messages of love and photos sent in.”

The service has been well received with messages ranging from, “…all his kids, grandkids, and great grand kids are thinking of him and love him very much,” to, “ We miss you Mum and look forward to having you home soon.”

Jim Sayer, Director Allied Health, says, “The pandemic has been a very challenging time for all of us. As such I am acutely aware of the beneficial impact of positive family and friend connections on lifting our patients’ spirit, enhancing recovery and improving overall well-being. I am grateful for the team in bringing this initiative together, and look forward to the delivery of stacks of messages from loved ones to our patients.”

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