Hospital trust introduces messaging service to keep families in touch with loved ones

PALS messaging service

Staff across University Hospital Southampton are continuing to find innovative ways to keep families and friends in touch with their loved ones while coronavirus restrictions are in place.

The experience of care team is now accepting messages via email which will be printed, laminated and delivered to patients and offering the chance for people to drop off small gifts and letters which members of the team can pass on.

The service, open seven days a week from 9.30am until 11.30am, launched yesterday and saw the team hand out more than 100 messages, pictures and photographs on the wards.

“It is really important we look at all ways to keep families in touch with their loved ones during this difficult period when they are unable to see them in person on the wards,” said Vicki Havercroft-Dixon, head of patient relations at UHS.

“This way gives people a chance to try something a bit different to the normal routine methods of communication at a distance and we have already seen the delight on patients’ faces when they receive their letters and gifts.”

She added: “It also gives our staff a morale boost to know they are able to keep people in touch and to see patients’ reactions, while it also gives them a chance to find out a bit more about the person behind the patient.”

Hospital radioFor more information, visit our patient and visitor section.

Meanwhile, Southampton Hospital Radio has issued a reminder to families and friends that they are able to play song requests for patients and relay messages across Southampton General and the Princess Anne hospitals.

To make a request leave a voicemail on 023 8078 5151 or complete the online form at

Southampton Hospital Radio is broadcast free via the Hospedia bedside TV units, which are also now providing free TV and outbound calls for the next two months. This includes terrestrial and freeview channels, outbound calls to 01, 02 and 03 numbers and multiple outbound mobile calls (capped at two minutes each).

Posted on Wednesday 15 April 2020