Arc Universities

It’s no secret that Covid-19 is having a devastating impact on the lives of patients in care homes and hospices.

The threat of the virus has forced providers to keep patients isolated from loved ones for their own safety, but this has led to a decline in mental health, an increase in anxiety and even a risk of earlier mortality.

Now, a new research project funded by the OU Rapid Response to COVID-19 Funding Scheme, is set to begin at Willen Hospice in Milton Keynes, looking at ways to develop technology that could improve communications between patients and their families.

New technology to beat social isolation

Led by Dr Verina Waights, Senior Lecturer in Professional Healthcare Education in the OU’s Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies, this pilot scheme will evaluate how patients and their families communicate with each other, the difficulties they’ve encountered during the pandemic, and how communication technology might improve their experiences in the future. The project has received just over £30,000 to work with the Milton Keynes-based hospice, which has also provided further funding.

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