At the start of the emergency measures to prevent the spread of the virus, Ellern Mede Group increased the number of ways we could keep parents connected to both their loved ones in hospital and the news about hospital activities and clinical progress for their children. Warm wishes have flowed.Among the ways we have kept connected despite COVID-19 are news briefings to parents, the usual clinical MDT reports that go out regularly, rapid response to personal enquiries from senior clinicians and management, and then for our hospital in Rotherham, Ellern Mede Moorgate, we have to thank Sharon Donaldson, Service Director North Region, for keeping in touch through a WhatsApp Group which has been much appreciated by parents.

Sharon explains: “At the start of COVID-19 I set up a parents WhatsApp group on my work mobile and have used this to keep parents updated of things we are doing on site over the weeks. I’ve notified parents of planned changes or activities we’ve undertaken over several weeks, and at times the messages have been as simple as the weather in Rotherham that day, and reassurance that we are all staying safe.”

Thank you to the pictured (anonymised for patient confidentiality purposes) thank you note that we received recently from one of our patient’s fathers. We think it indicates that this very communicative approach has been a real success, both in terms of reducing anxiety and in keeping all of us involved with one another during lockdown.