KGH's Anna wins national award for pandemic work

She implemented the hospital's virtual visiting system

Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 1:18 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 1:20 pm
Anna Awoliyi

A woman who works at Kettering General Hospital was won a national award for the way she supported virtual visiting for the families of patients during the pandemic.

Chief allied health professional information officer Anna Awoliyi claimed top spot in the “digital champion” section of the BAME Health and Care Awards 2021, which recognise the contribution and achievements of staff from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.

With all patient visits banned for more than a year during the Covid crisis, except in exceptional circumstances, Anna's work was invaluable in keeping those in hospital in touch with their loved ones.

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She implemented virtual visiting, an electronic system for patients to speak to loved ones over video by using a computer tablet.

Anna said: “I’m so happy to see the impact that this is having on the patients in our care. In a time of Covid this has made a huge difference with their families that are in our care.

“As an organisation, we take a family-centred approach to care. This ensures patients' wellbeing is looked after.”

Anna and the team continued to improve and develop on the initial software that had been developed.

They introduced new features such as a re-book feature, which saves ward staff time from inputting family details for each visit, alongside a button that tells staff when a call has been completed. This enables ward staff to differentiate between patients who have had a virtual visit and those who have not.

Anna said: “We provide the tablet for the patient, which is held on a stand. This means that the patient doesn’t need to hold the device for long periods.

“We looked at the figures around use of the tablets and we found that patients would spend on average 53 minutes on the tablets. This is a long time to hold device. The stands reduce the strain for the patient and have increased take up of this scheme.

Ian Roddis, digital director, said: “We are very proud and inspired by all of the work that Anna has done on the virtual visiting project.

"Anna has been fundamental in virtual visiting being delivered and developed - and it was her passion and enthusiasm that helped get this embedded on the wards at the height of the Covid pandemic.

“This is a great example of how a digital solution can help to aid and support our patients and their families during these difficult times.”

From today (May 5) some visiting restrictions were partially lifted at the Rothwell Road hospital.