We are dealing with unprecedented levels of illness and loss of life as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Coping with not being able to see and/or deal with the loss of loved ones is difficult enough for family and friends in the best of times, but is even more challenging now, where hospital visiting is restricted, self-isolation, social distancing, and the risk of infection have cut people off from the usual support networks. 

We already have in place an approach to allow patients from the vulnerable group listed below, to have an immediate family member or carer visit them while they are in our hospital:

  • Patient receiving end-of-life care
  • Someone supporting a patient with mental health issue such as Dementia, a Learning Disability or Autism, where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed

The Compassionate Care Team will identify patients who are unable to independently keep in touch with their loved ones. The team will work with the identified patients, their families and ward clinical teams to ensure and enable families to stay in touch. 

The Family Supportive Care Team will receive referrals from the Compassionate Care Team, Bereavement Team and/or ward clinical teams once a family member has been identified as needing further support during their loved one’s hospital stay. 

The service is runs on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Speak to your loved one over Zoom

Families and friends can speak to their loved ones in hospital via Zoom. In order to do this, friends and family will require the Zoom app installed on their tablet/smart phone.

To request a conversation, friends or family simply email dgn-tr.compassionatecareteam@nhs.net remembering to include:

  • Email and telephone numbers of those wishing to participate in the call
  • The patients name
  • The patients date of birth
  • The ward that the patient in on

Once a request is received, the team will discuss with the ward to ensure that the patient is fit and able to participate. They will then contact the friends or family to determine when the conversation can take place.

The Compassionate Care Team will liaise between patients and one member of the family / friends who will be given a meeting code, we expect that person to pass the information on to othr family members / friends who wish to be involved in the call.

Once the team open the meeting, the person at home will receive a message that the meeting is open. They then enter the meeting ID and Password (which will have been provided previously) at which time their image will appear on the screen at the hospital end and those at home should be able to see both the patient and all others in the Zoom meeting. Friends and family will then be able to have a multi-person chat with the patient and everyone else logged on.

A member of the team will be with the patient throughout to process to assist where necessary.


Want to speak to your loved one in hospital on the telephone?

Hospedia who manage the bedside entertainment / phone system have kindly offered to make the use of the phones on their individual patient stations, FREE for all outgoing calls during the current emergency.

Patients can call landlines and mobiles free of charge. Anyone outside the hospital phoning into the Hospicom equipment will be charged the normal 13p per minute charge.

The preloaded cash card, usually required for full use of the Hospicom equipment are NOT required to make the outgoing free calls.

Assistance can be provided by the Compassionate Care Team to help patients with making outgoing calls, simply email dgn-tr.compassionatecareteam@nhs.net remembering to include your phone number and the patients name, ward and date of birth.


Write a Letter or Poem

Do you have a loved one being cared for at Darent Valley Hospital (DVH)?

We’ve launched a new team to help you communicate with them directly by sending in your messages or a poem. 

You can send a personal note or messages from family groups by email, to dgn-tr.compassionatecareteam@nhs.net, and we will ensure they are passed on by the staff caring for your loved one. Each letter will be placed in it's own special coloured envelope and sealed with a heart stickers. 

Please provide the following information with your message:

Your name
Your contact details
Your loved ones name (in full)
Ward (if known)
Date of birth (if known)​​​​​​​