UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Relative communicators: evaluation of an innovative hospital role emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic

Ramanathan, A; Rees, C; Hookham, L; Schamroth, J; Rosenthal, J; (2021) Relative communicators: evaluation of an innovative hospital role emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic. Journal of Communication in Healthcare pp. 1-9. 10.1080/17538068.2021.2018153. (In press). Green open access

[thumbnail of 17538068.2021.pdf]
Preview
Text
17538068.2021.pdf - Published version

Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract

Background: During the COVID-19 pandemic, hospital visiting policies made communication challenging. Effective communication is known to reduce anxiety for patients and relatives, and improve trust in healthcare services. We describe an innovative project in which students and staff were deployed to the role of ‘Relative Communicators’, enabling routine updates and facilitating video calls between patients and their next of kin (NOK). The aim of our project was to explore NOK's perceptions of communication about their inpatient relatives and the Relative Communicators. // Method: Participants were asked to complete a structured interview over a telephone call but could use the online form if this was not possible. Hence, we obtained data using a combination of interviews and online surveys. NOK, who utilized the relative communicator service (n = 30), were surveyed. Quantitative data and free-text responses were analysed to understand their perceptions. // Results: 85.7% of respondents (24/28) were satisfied with information they received from Relative Communicators. 43.3% (13/30) of NOK felt they could communicate with their relative ‘the right amount’, and 56.7% (17/30) felt they were sufficiently involved in care decisions. Qualitative data provided further insights around the demand for proactive updates, frustration with existing communication models, and praise of telecommunication methods. // Conclusions: We suggest proactive updates and telecommunication could improve the experience for patients and NOK. Relative Communicators provided a bridge for inpatients and NOK to connect. The pandemic has exacerbated systemic communication issues and innovations, such as the Relative Communicators, may help to address these challenges.

Type: Article
Title: Relative communicators: evaluation of an innovative hospital role emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/17538068.2021.2018153
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/17538068.2021.2018153
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Keywords: Communication; telecommunication; COVID-19; hospital npatients; patient care; secondary care
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Primary Care and Population Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10141261
Downloads since deposit
2Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item