Ruth Mitchell

New website to revolutionize patient care

Three innovative North East businessmen have come up with a new website, set to change the way hospital patients access their confidential information.

Justvisiting.com is a simple and fee to use website built around an interactive message board, which allows friends and families of patients to keep up to date with a a patients progress and post messages of support to a virtual ‘visiting room’.

Entrepreneurs publican Paul Smith, former NHS manager Jeff Cummings and communications professional Michael Lavery came up with the idea, to help share updates of Jeff’s father’s hospital stay with friends and family around the world. They began by putting updates on the pub website, but soon realised the widespread appeal of a patient information website.

Justvisiting.com director Michael Lavery, also a director at Teesside University, said: “Users of the site create or visit an ‘online visiting room’ which establishes a sharing network for all those touched by a patient’s recovery in hospital.

“The site is free to use, offers simplicity and, unlike other social media sites, complementary advice and information from established web services like NHS Choices and NHS Direct is just a click away.”

The idea has already received backing from over 30 UK healthcare trusts, and idea, which is a Community Interest Company, is now very close to sealing a deal with Hospedia, the hospital bedside entertainment business, which would allow more than 50,00 patients across the UK access to the free site.

It is hoped that the site will be further integrated into the health and social care of patients and those who support and care from them across the NHS.

Gateshead NHS Foundation Trust is one of many who have offered their support to the idea, and Ian Renwick, chief executive of Gateshead NHS Foundation Trust believes the website has an important role to play in the future of healthcare.

He commented: “I feel strongly that this website has a huge role to play in the future of healthcare in linking hospital and housebound patients with the outside world and their lives as they left them prior to their stay.”

The business has recently secured business and funding support from the National Lottery, a local enterprise grant via Gateshead Council, NHS North East and Gateshead NHS Foundation Trust. Bill Bryson and the UK’s most senior nurse Dame Chris Beasley have also been named as two of the website’s patrons.

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