New Patient Contact Helpline
Communication with hospital wards
Please bear with us at this difficult time as we are aware that we are unable to answer phones and communicate with relatives as often or in as timely a fashion as we would like to. Staff absences have led to some wards running without reception staff and a reduced number of staff, therefore, patient care is our priority, sometimes not enabling us to get to phones in time.
We ask that all communication is channelled through one person – the next of kin – at this time to reduce the number of calls into the wards. If you are the nominated next of kin and you cannot get through or get an answer when you call the wards to enquire about your loved one, you can contact the Patient Contact Helpline on 03033 306666 between the hours of 9am and 5pm, seven days a week. Please note, we do ask you still try contacting the ward in the first instance. This number is manned by non-clinical volunteer staff who will take messages and deliver them to your relatives, or help you to locate your loved one. This team is not able to share clinical information, however, they are able to get messages to the clinical team looking after your relatives, advise you on other options for communication, such as video calling, and will be able to organise drop-offs and collections of belongings for patients.
Alternatively, an email address – firstname.lastname@example.org – will be manned throughout the same hours. Please note this helpline has been put in place to support connecting people for this period of the pandemic, following feedback from the public that this has become a challenge. This is a short-term solution whilst we see this surge in activity across our hospitals. We continue to allow visiting in exceptional circumstances. More information about the visiting restrictions is available on the Trust website.