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Enhancing the impact of technologies for hospice residents

Two hands are pictured in focus with the background blurred. The older hand is being held by a younger one. Dr Verina Waights has received over £30,000 from the OU Rapid Response to COVID-19 funding scheme to enhance the use of technologies in a hospice. In collaboration with Willen Hospice, the project will pilot and evaluate the use of digital technologies to enhance communications for service users and their families during the pandemic.

The project will explore staff, community service users and their families’ experiences of the COVID-19 measures and develop digital enhancements to the service through online co-production workshops with representatives of these groups. The enhancements will be piloted by service users, families, carers and staff.

Dr Waights, Senior Lecturer in Professional Healthcare Education in the WELS School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care, said:

“Our project seeks to provide more opportunities for users to connect with the Willen at Home service during these COVID-19 measures, and for use in practitioner assessments and in supporting bereaved families.”

Mrs Peta Wilkinson, CEO of Willen Hospice commented:

“Willen Hospice is delighted to be part of this important piece of research, which will support our teams, and patients and families to receive the best possible care despite the restrictions being imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Open University is a valued partner and we appreciate their support in exploring how best to support people in these unprecedented times.”

Findings from the pilot, which are due in August 2021, will be used to help enhance Willen Hospice services in future, and disseminated widely to provide an evidence-base for other hospices to improve their services.

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