Patients to bring device to keep in touch

File photo.

People coming into hospital are being reminded to bring a phone or other personal device with them so they can keep in contact with loved ones.

Tight hospital visitor restrictions as a result of COVID-19 mean most hospital patients can’t have any visitors, so it’s important to be able to communicate with the outside world.

Toni Fitzpatrick, on behalf of the welfare team in the Emergency Operations Centre at the Bay of Plenty District Health Board, says there’s no restriction on phone calls and video like zoom or facetime to keep in touch with friends and whānau in the community.

"Going into hospital can be stressful, but being able to phone or video-message people makes a big difference to patient wellbeing and helps them feel connected."

Patients are able to access free public wifi in the hospital with no need for a password.

During the lockdown period, no visitors are allowed at any Bay of Plenty or Lakes districts’ hospitals.

The restrictions are in place for the safety of patients, staff and security as well as the wider population.

The only exceptions are people who are receiving end-of-life care, a child in the Children’s Unit or Emergency Department and women in labour, each of whom can have one consistent support person or visitor.

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