Bedside entertainment for cancer patients

Patient, Moira McCullagh, with Head of Cancer Services, Fiona Reddick, Dr Judith Carser, and Sister Tanya Maginn.
Patient, Moira McCullagh, with Head of Cancer Services, Fiona Reddick, Dr Judith Carser, and Sister Tanya Maginn.
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Cancer patients in the Southern Trust now have access to a wide range of entertainment free of charge at their bedsides in Craigavon Area Hospital.

The £200,000 investment includes the installation of 18 entertainment systems in the Mandeville Unit - one for each bed. The touchscreen systems include access to TV, radio, and internet for patients to use during treatments like chemotherapy or blood transfusions.

Moira McCullagh is a haematology patient who, for the past 18 years, has attended the unit for a full day’s supportive blood transfusion treatment every three weeks.

Moira, aged 70, says, “It can be a long day, which I would usually have spent resting, reading, or watching the shared ward TV - which wouldn’t usually have sound. Now with these new entertainment terminals, I can bring in my own headphones and watch whatever channel I like, or listen to the radio without disturbing other patients. I can also surf the web and keep up to date on Facebook, and know that some patients even do their online shopping - making much better use of their time.”

Staff can also log onto these terminals to access patient records.

Head of Cancer Services for the Southern Trust, Fiona Reddick, explains, “We are delighted to now be able to offer our patients this welcome distraction during what can be a very difficult time in their lives. As well as the obvious benefit of occupying patients during their treatment, the terminals also help us to improve safety, quality and speed of care.

We are delighted to now be able to offer our patients this welcome distraction during what can be a very difficult time in their lives

Fiona Reddick

“Medical staff can use the screens to log on to our clinical systems at the bedside, allowing them to view, record, or update the patient’s notes in real time - for example, checking results, alerting Pharmacy to a change needed in medication, or sending information to their Dietitian or GP.”

The Southern Trust was the first to install bedside entertainment systems in its Renal and Cancer Units as Siobhan Hanna, Assistant Director of Informatics for the Southern Trust, explains, “We are continually trying to find ways of using technology to help staff do their job more efficiently, improve safety, and enhance the patient experience where we can. This development follows the successful installation of similar systems at our area Renal Unit in Daisy Hill last year, so we are delighted that those patients who spend lengthy spells in our hospitals - receiving chemo or on dialysis - have access to this technology to help pass their time. As we move from paper to electronic patient records, having computers which staff can use at patient bedsides also improves care delivery.”