Tranmere Rovers help to fund 10 iPads to help Clatterbridge patients stay in touch with loved ones
Tackling social isolation has long been core values at Tranmere Rovers. During Covid, one of the cruellest forms of social isolation has been families unable to be with their loved ones when will they are ill, and sometimes dying, in hospital. Although a poor second to real visits, video calls have been a real lifeline for the patients and anxious families alike.
Last month we heard from Paul Thompson at Westminster Associates that Meadowbank Ward at Clatterbridge, which specialises in dementia and mental health cases, had only one iPad on the entire ward, that had to be booked in advance and shared across every patient. This meant that patients were very limited in the time they could make contact with family, and nursing staff were having to spend their precious time coordinating usage.
Human interaction and contact for patients with the kind of mental health and neurological conditions the ward caters for is key to their recovery and emotional well-being. It also helps the medical team as they are able to assess how they interact with loved ones as a guide to how their condition is progressing. In the absence of face-to-face visits, virtual contact is the only way they can do this at the present time.
Having seen the problem first hand when his father suffered a prolonged period of hospitalisation during Covid, Paul decided to try and raise funds to buy 10 iPads – one for each of the 10 rooms on Meadowbank Ward. With him having raised one third of the cost through family and friends, Tranmere Rovers in the Community was delighted to fund the balance of money needed to ensure the iPads could be bought and put to good use.
Nicola Palios said: “We know from our work with our own dementia groups how difficult and isolating dementia can be even during normal times. Lockdown has meant that husbands and wives or partners who may have been inseparable for decades have been forced to spend long periods with little or no contact, and families have been desperate for contact with their loved ones. We couldn’t think of a better use for some of the money we have raised during lockdown.”
Paul Thompson added: “Having experienced first-hand the two sides of this, one, separations of families from loved ones, and two, medicals that we need to assess, so how fit and well people are, and their recovery based on their interaction with the family and we obviously can’t do it face to face at the moment.
“Fortunately I’m in a position to buy dad an iPad, but I just got my creative brain working when I started to think maybe there’s more that we can do than just one iPad for my dad.
“The fact we are giving them 10 iPads, means that people beyond my dad and beyond the patients that are there at the moment will benefit from them in the future as well.”