It’s difficult for some of our patients and their families to come to terms with that fact that they may never again stroll around a country park, or paddle in the sea. However, thanks to some fantastic new technology, we are bringing the outdoors to the bedside!
Cransley Hospice are one of the early adopters of the ‘i Experience VR’ programme, which has been developed by LOROS Hospice in Leicestershire. Patients are equipped with a special headset, containing a mobile phone which features several virtual experiences, as well as accompanying earphones.
At the moment, patients can choose from two virtual movies – one of the beautiful beaches of Gower Peninsula in Wales and the other of the stunning Bradgate Park – although more videos are currently in production, including one at Chatsworth House. Once the movie begins, patients can discover a 360-degree immersive view of the chosen landscape, complete with accompanying sounds! It really is the next best thing to being there in person.
A few weeks ago, our clinical and fundraising teams got together to receive training on the ‘i Experience VR’ system, to enable us to roll-out the use of the headsets to everyone in our in-patient unit. The training was a huge success, with everyone wanting to have a go – and members of the team delighting at the waves lapping at their feet and the birds circling overhead!
While there is the need to show sensitivity to which patients will benefit from this technology, we’re really excited to be able to offer this new adventure to everyone who wants to participate, to further enhance the patient experience while staying at the Hospice. It’s thanks to charitable funding from Cransley Hospice Trust that we are able to invest in enriching experiences like this for all of our in-patients to enjoy.