Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is now offering its patients and their loved ones access to an app to book virtual visits.  

The NHS Book a Virtual Visit app, developed by Made Tech, allows patients and visitors to connect when they are unable to be together physically due to Covid-19 restrictions in hospitals.

At Kettering General Hospital alone, NHS Book a Virtual Visit has now facilitated more than 900 visits, across 25 wards, averaging calls of 50 minutes between patients and loved ones, since its implementation in July.

Hosted in the cloud, the scalable, secure and OS agnostic digital service does not require users to install any third-party applications, can be accessed via any website browser, and works across any device, ensuring patient inclusion.

Ian Roddis, deputy chief digital and information officer at the trust, said: “Meeting our patients needs goes beyond physical treatment. As a trust we are wholly committed to being patient-centric. While the pressures of this year have been extremely challenging, we never lost sight of the importance of keeping our patients connected to their loved ones when physical visits had to end.

“Prior to NHS Book a virtual visit we’d been using a commercial product that had information governance and safeguarding issues. The Made Tech digital service meets our rapidly evolving user needs, in an open, safe and interoperable way.”

The implementation of the solution at Kettering General follows the announcement from Made Tech that it had developed the alpha of the digital service in 48 hours for London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust (LNWH) following a call from its then CIO, Sonia Patel, on Twitter.

Luke Morton, CTO at Made Tech said: “We are thrilled that Kettering General has adopted NHS Book a virtual visit. It’s been great to see its use growing rapidly across hospitals and trusts so that today thousands of families have been able to keep in contact. With the support of NHSX and NHS Digital we hope that trusts continue to innovate, focusing on developing open source digital services whose benefit can be felt across Trusts, and Integrated Care Systems for the benefit of patients.”

NHS Book a virtual visit will now be rolled out to Northampton General Hospital as part of the two acute trusts continued partnership to deliver high-quality, coordinated care for the whole of Northamptonshire.