A charity is delivering messages from patients’ loved ones who cannot visit hospitals due to coronavirus restrictions on visitors.

Patients at The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust (PAHT) are now able to receive messages of support from friends and family thanks to a partnership with the Anne Robson Trust.

As the NHS manages the demands of Covid-19 visiting to the hospital has been restricted.

No visitors are permitted, except in exceptional circumstances in agreement with the nurse in charge.

For updates and reaction on the coronavirus pandemic from across east London and Essex visit our live blog.

At the children’s ward, one parent or carer only is allowed, and one birthing partner only with no other visitors is permitted at the maternity department..

The Anne Robson Trust, a partner charity of the hospital, is supporting PAHT to provide the Message to a Loved One service.

Family members and friends of inpatients can send a personal message or collate messages and send to paht.messagetoalovedone@nhs.net.

Additionally, there is a dedicated phone line (01279 868128) which is available between 10am and 12noon each weekday and a staff member or volunteer will write the message down and get the message to patients’ loved ones.

Shahid Sardar, associate director of patient engagement, said: “We appreciate the understanding of our community as we work to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of our patients and people by restricting visiting to our hospital. We recognise that keeping in touch with loved ones is a vital aspect of holistic support for our patients and we encourage family members and friends to contact them via phone and video calls during this time.

“In addition, the Message to a Loved One service is an important way that friends and relatives can show patients that they are thinking about them during their hospital stay. We are extremely grateful to The Anne Robson Trust for generously giving their time to offer this service for our patients.”

The service is currently only available for patients to receive messages, and there is not capacity for messages to be returned at this time.

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