Stories give stimulation to patients on the long road to recovery | Our news

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Stories give stimulation to patients on the long road to recovery

St Bartholomew’s Hospital is working with Books for Dad to give Kindles to patients recovering from Covid-19 and other long-term conditions such as respiratory illnesses and cancer. 

The scheme provides audiobooks for those experiencing difficult recoveries and long stays in hospital.

Brothers Nicky and Sam Woolf’s were inspired to start Books for Dad after their father went onto a ventilator with Covid-19 and found communication and the lack of mental stimulation challenging during his stay in hospital. 

The trial at St Bartholomew’s has been a success and Books for Dad is hoping to roll out the project across other Barts Health hospitals. 

Partnered with Audible UK and British Airways, the project has also provided Kindles at the Whittington Hospital, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. 

Nicky and Sam Woolf, founders of Books for Dad, said, “When our Dad went onto a ventilator, one of the hardest aspects was the inability to communicate. 

“Even when a loved one is unconscious, just being able to be there is everything. 

“So we started thinking about how we could make some kind of connection. Our Dad raised us to love words, and always said what he’d find hard about a long hospital stay would be lack of mental stimulation. 

"The doctors on the ward suggested it might be something that all of the recovering patients could benefit from. 

“As we learned about the procedures put in place for patients suffering from the virus, it became clear that those who are placed on ventilators can find themselves experiencing a severe mental challenge on top of fighting the illness – unable to communicate, isolated, with reports of severe delirium and post-traumatic stress. 

“Our hope with this project is to go a small way to combating some of the challenges that slow recovery can bring.” 

For further information please contact senior Improvement manager and patient experience lead darren.barnes@nhs.net

Read this blog from one of our critical care nurses on seeing a patient use a donated iPad to connect with his family while being treated for coronavirus. 

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