Virtual visiting makes patient’s 100th birthday celebrations possible

1st June 2020

Weymouth patient Vera Carlyle was able to celebrate her 100th birthday with her family, despite COVID-19 restrictions, thanks to staff at Westhaven Hospital.

Her relatives could not visit the site for her special day, but Radipole Ward staff at the Dorset HealthCare-run hospital organised a ‘virtual visit’ instead.

The new video call service was set up by the Trust to unite patients with family and friends in the absence of face-to-face visits during the pandemic.

Vera said: “While it was difficult to not celebrate with my family in person, I felt very lucky that the hospital could organise a video call with them. They could still see me open my card from the Queen.”

Pauline Carlyle, Vera’s daughter-in-law, added: “We are very thankful to the team at Radipole Ward for making Vera’s birthday so special. She is home now, and able to enjoy her cards (over 200 of them) and flowers in her own surroundings.”

All inpatients at Dorset’s community hospitals and mental health units can now video call loved ones and unite with family and friends, following the launch of this innovative service.

People can request to speak to one another on a hand-held tablet, and a dedicated staff member will make arrangements for a video call.

Family members or friends just need to log in to the platform via the Trust’s website at the agreed time. The staff member will be on hand to start the virtual visit for the patient, as well as support them throughout the call where necessary.

If your family member is a patient at one of the Trust’s community hospitals or mental health inpatient units, you can contact the site directly and request a virtual visiting video call. Click here for further information.


Vera Carlyle with Radipole Ward Aspirant Nurse Katie-Louise Apsey during the virtual visiting call

Latest news