CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Royal Free appeals for second hand mobile phones to help coronavirus patients

iPhone 6S or newer models wanted for patients cut off from loved ones

31 March, 2020 — By Tom Foot

All visits to the hospital have been stopped 

THE Royal Free is appealing for the donation of second hand mobile phones to help coronavirus patients can stay in touch with loved ones.

All visits to the hospital, in Pond Street, Hampstead, have been stopped meaning many patients cannot speak to friends and family.

Dr Simon Stallworthy, acute medicine speciality registrar, sent out a message calling for “non-returnable donations”.

The Hampstead hospital wants “iPhone 6S or newer” models so patients can access the wifi.

Dr Stallworthy’s message said: “At the Royal Free Hospital, we are currently radically changing the way we work and deliver care in order to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the rapidly growing number of patients admitted to our wards.

“Unfortunately, we have now had to close out doors to all visitors. Due to the way that our wards are set up in response, this has led to some patients not being able to access a telephone or other ways of staying in touch with friends and family.

“We are keen to source any non-returnable donations of mobile phones, especially i-Phone 6S or newer, so we can connect to our hospital WIFI and loan to patients to use to both voice and video call their friends, families and loved ones – to stay in touch as much as possible.”

Last week, the New Journal reported the anguish of relatives who have not been allowed to visit severely ill relatives on the coronavirus wards.

Anyone wanting to donate a suitable phone can email Dr Stallworthy on simon.stallworthy@nhs.net

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