Emma Desmond, centre, with colleagues from Rainbow ward at QEQM and one of the ChargeBoxes

ChargeBoxes help parents keep in touch while their children are in hospital

Parents of poorly children can now more easily keep in touch with their loved ones, thanks to funding from East Kent Hospitals Charity.

The charity has funded ChargeBoxes – special lockers where people can charge their mobile phones – for the children’s wards at the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate and William Harvey Hospital in Ashford.

The devices have also been installed in the emergency department at QEQM, allowing people to top up their phone’s battery without needing to find somewhere to plug in a charger.

Emma Desmond, matron for acute child health at East Kent Hospitals, said they were already proving popular with parents.

She said: “One parent asked if I had a charger they could borrow because they had been without a charged phone all night and were quite distressed about it.

“Having the ChargeBox will be a lifeline for families, particularly those who have been admitted as an emergency so may not have had time to pack a bag or bring a charger.

“It is a small thing that can make a big difference and help people stay in contact with relatives and friends, so we are very grateful to the charity for their support in funding the ChargeBoxes.”

Dee Neligan, head of East Kent Hospitals Charity, said: “It is incredibly stressful to have a child in hospital, and it is a time when parents rely on their phones more than ever to keep in touch with loved ones with updates.

“The ChargeBoxes in our emergency department have proved hugely popular so we were delighted to be able to fund them for the children’s wards as well.

“I know they are already making a difference and removing one extra source of stress for families, and we are very grateful to our fundraisers and donors who allow us to fund projects like this.”