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Norfolk hospital launches ‘Letters of Love’ to help patients in solitary lockdown

PUBLISHED: 09:39 09 April 2020 | UPDATED: 09:39 09 April 2020

You can now have messages printed out and taken to your loved-one at the James Paget University Hospital via a dedicated email account Photo: Simon Stevens

You can now have messages printed out and taken to your loved-one at the James Paget University Hospital via a dedicated email account Photo: Simon Stevens

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A hospital has set up an inpatient email address to ease the solitary suffering of patients and slow the spread of coronavirus.

The James Paget University Hospital, in Gorleston, in common with all trusts, has banned all visitors except in exceptional circumstances agreed with the ward manager in advance.

It has also cancelled all non-emergency surgery.

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Now in a bid to enhance contact between patients and family and friends it has launched a Letters to Loved Ones email service which sees messages printed out and delivered to bedsides.

A statement said: “During these unprecedented times of restricted visiting, we are exploring different ways to make sure that family and friends can continue to communicate with their loved ones.

“To support this, we have set up a dedicated email address that friends and family can use to send messages/letters of love to patients.

“We will print out your message, pop it in an envelope and deliver it to your loved one for them to keep and re-read as they wish.”

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As of today (Thursday, April 9) 21 patients at the JPUH have died after testing positive for Covid-19.

All were said to have underlying health problems and were mostly in their 70s, 80s, and 90s with one man and one woman in their 50s.

Overall the death toll in Norfolk is 75.

Dr Michael Brooks from the JPUH admitted earlier this week that there was “an underlying fear and trepidation” staff may soon be overwhelmed.

Talking to BBC News, Dr Brooks said: “East Norfolk is a week behind London in terms of case load, and the current mood among staff is that we are not yet inundated.

“But we are seeing cases increasing on a day to day basis.

“And though we are coping at the moment and there is still capacity, it’s true that it is filling up rapidly.”

• To send a message to a loved one who is currently an inpatient at the James Paget University Hospital, email your message to LetterstoLovedOnes@jpaget.nhs.uk clearly stating the full name of the patient and the ward where they are being cared for.


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