Nurses from University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW) reached out to the public to support a new campaign to enable them, and their colleagues, to deliver a token of sentiment and empathy when patients are admitted into their care.

Tahlia Williamson, ITU nurse at the BRI, explained: “We have launched the ‘Heart to Heart’ campaign at UHBW, as we felt it was a fitting way to express an extension of our care and empathy for patients and families who are unable to be together during these unprecedented times. Although the idea was adopted from another trust, I felt it would be a missed opportunity if we didn’t do the same or similar here. I admire everything the hearts stand for and the connection they enable patients and their family members to have while they are in our care. We are thereby calling on our community to personally craft matching pairs of hearts, made from materials and techniques of their choice, which staff will offer families and patients when they are admitted to the unit. One heart will remain here with our patients to hold, and the other sent home to a partner, family member or friend. While the concept is simple, we hope it brings comfort to families and patients during these challenging times. During all phone and online conversations, both hearts can be held as a way of connecting our patients with their loved ones.”

Some of the people on York Road, Montpelier, were moved to start making hearts, and organised themselves using their street WhatsApp group.

They received a letter from staff in Intensive Care that thanks them all and explains that there was such an overwhelming respose, they've since rolled the scheme out to all wards at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, who also found it difficult to facilitate visits.