A network and IT company brought some well-deserved Christmas cheer to children in hospital by giving them the chance to video call with Santa.

As part of the Connected Santa project, members of staff from Cisco dressed up as elves and even Mrs Claus.

They also helped dish out 600 presents to children in hospitals up and down the country as well as helping them video call Santa Claus himself.

One of the hospitals which was visited by Santa and his elves was Evelina London Children’s Hospital which is part of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

Young patients were able to see Father Christmas live from the North Pole on a big television screen with each family given a present from one of the elves.

Guney Yilmaz, 5, said he enjoyed meeting Santa virtually.

“I’ve been really good all year so I loved seeing Father Christmas and meeting his elves,” he said.

One mum also said the visit from Santa had made a “real difference” to her son’s stay.

“Yesterday he had a bad day but this has put a smile back on his face,” she said.

Other hospitals who received a special visit included Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey and Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kings Lynn.

Cisco has spent the last 13 years visiting 15 hospitals in the UK as part of the project.

Healthcare manager, Terry Robinson, has been helping to run the event ever since it started.

“In the early years it was just a few members of staff who made the trip to each hospital we visited,” Terry said.

“But now we have so many staff who want to come volunteer that we have to turn them away.

“Each year we come, it just gets better and better. Even though the staff are really busy they’re always so welcoming and seeing how excited the children get when they find out they’ll get to see Father Christmas in his grotto makes it worth the trip every time.”

In a separate story, back in February, Digital Health News reported on how King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust created a virtual reality app to reassure children before they have an MRI scan.