What is Virtual Visiting?
Using Virtual Visiting in in-patient facilities has benefits for patients and service users, their loved ones and for staff.
Virtual Visiting is the ability to connect patients and service users with their loved ones using devices such as tablets and smart phones and using platforms like NHS Near Me, WhatsApp and FaceTime as well as other similar types of technology.
Importantly, it supports person-centred care and will complement person-centred visiting, but it can also support good mental health and wellbeing. It can reduce stress and anxiety for the patient or service user and their loved ones, especially if a patient or service user has been admitted in an emergency and it can reduce social isolation.
Virtual Visiting can also reduce the number of calls a ward receives from relatives and frees up staff.
Virtual visiting has been of immeasurable benefit for patients, families and staff.
Here are examples of how some NHS boards are using Virtual Visiting:
- NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has purchased iPads for wards across its sites so that families kept apart during restricted visiting can keep in touch with their loved ones
- NHS Grampian's Family Nurse Partnership is using FaceTime to provide support to first-time young mums and families.
- NHS North Bristol has established protocols for ensuring regular and consistent communication with patients' families