Providing the same outstanding care, with some important changes
“I’ve worked at St Oswald’s for many years and during this time we’ve never faced a challenge like COVID-19. Our teams of nurses, doctors, social workers, bereavement support workers, and the whole St Oswald’s family, are working together to deliver the best possible care to patients and families. Like many organisations, technology has really come into its own for us during this pandemic. Connecting with patients over video in particular is helping them to feel less isolated, while being able to provide practical support where possible too.
“There are many services that we can’t currently provide onsite, which we are able to offer virtually. Within our day services, our team have been offering weekly telephone catch ups and delivering art therapy online, which would traditionally be held in group sessions at St Oswald’s. Our Bereavement Support Service and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy are also continuing to be offered through video appointments.
“Our large Lymphoedema Service, caring for over 1800 patients each year, has also seen changes. Putting the safety of patients, staff and families first, the Lymphoedema Team has been carrying out phone reviews with the majority of our patients to ensure that their condition is stable. Where this has not been possible, the team are seeing some patients in their homes and a small number of patients are still coming to our Outpatient Suite for treatment.
“Both our medically led Children and Young Adults Service and Adult Inpatient Ward remain open. Being able to provide essential services like this to local families is more important now than ever.
“On our Adult Inpatient Unit we continue to provide the outstanding care that patients are used to and create special memories for families. A new family room on the Unit has been a fantastic space for family pizza nights and birthday parties, and also a space to take some time out.
“For families using our Children and Young Adults short break service, after an initial reluctance to send their children for respite care, we have seen people return and our activity levels increase. The team are trying to reassure parents and offer support, whether that being through them getting a break while their child is with us, or via regular telephone conversations. We’re also using social media so families can connect, share and support one another, and also get updates from the care team. So far this has proved popular with parents by bringing families together when they have to stay apart.”