Cybersecurity provider Bridgeway Security Solutions has launched a new initiative to provide hospital patients with access to phones to communicate with loved ones during the Covid-19 lockdown.

As part of efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus visits to UK hospitals and care homes are currently not allowed, leaving those in hospital uncertain of when they will next see their loved ones. According to Bridgeway Security Solutions, many of those admitted to hospital or living in care homes do not have access to a mobile phone or charger, making it difficult to speak to friends and family.

To remedy this, the company has set out to distribute thousands of securely repurposed phones under the Phones for Patients initiative. So far almost 4,000 devices have been donated.

The initiative will collect donated phones chargers and cables, securely wipe all of the existing data and applications and install communication apps such as Facetime, Skype or Zoom.

Electronics manufacturer Cambironix has also donated twelve managed USB hubs so that multiple mobile devices can be charged, connected and synced at the same time.

After this has been completed, devices will be distributed to participating NHS hospitals and care homes where patients and residents can use them for free.

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By GlobalData

Phones for Patients helps connect families during the coronavirus

“We recognise the devastating impact that being cut off from loved ones during such a challenging time has on hospital patients and care home residents across the UK. This is why we have launched this free initiative, and our whole team is dedicating their work and spare time to make this happen,” said Jason Holloway, managing director at Bridgeway and Founder of the Phones for Patients initiative.

“The first donations have been kindly pledged by Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Royal Berkshire Fire & Rescue Services and Torbay Council. We have already secured donations of nearly 4,000 devices, with more being pledged in coming days. If any organisation has recently upgraded their mobile fleets, we urge them to donate the devices to Phones for Patients, where they can really make a difference to peoples’ lives.”

As well as Bridgeway, other telecoms organisations have offered their services to enable patients to communicate with friends and family. For example, Wifi Spark provided free wifi access for Nottingham University Hospitals and EE provided free line rental. Facebook has also donated over 2,000 Portal devices to care homes around the UK.

Read more: Coronavirus: AI used to identify Covid-19 in lung x-rays.