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Phones for Patients helps elderly and hospitalised stay in contact with loved ones

A new initiative launched by Cambridge-based Bridgeway Security Solutions is helping to give hospital patients and care home residents access to mobile phones during lockdown.

Buckingway Business Park-based Bridgeway, a UK cyber security provider, has launched Phones for Patients, which aims to distribute tens of thousands of securely repurposed mobile devices to UK hospitals and care homes.

Phones for Patients, run by Bridgeway, will collect mobile devices, chargers and cables donated by organisations and individuals, and the devices are then securely prepared for donation with all existing data and applications securely wiped, and apps such as FaceTime, Zoom and WhatsApp installed on the devices.

The first NHS recipients of donated devices from Phones for Patients will be Camden and Islington NHS FT, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, South Tees Hospitals NHS FT, Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS FT and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS FT. Other interested trusts and care homes are encouraged to join the initiative.

Cambrionix – also based in Cambridge – is supporting the scheme, and has lent Bridgeway a number of enterprise hubs that are enabling Bridgeway to prepare multiple mobile phones simultaneously.

To speed up the device preparation process, Cambrionix has lent Bridgeway 12 managed USB hubs, which make it easy to charge, connect, and sync multiple mobile devices at the same time. Using Cambrionix hubs, Bridgeway can prepare up to 180 devices simultaneously using four Macbooks – meaning more phones and tablets can be distributed to patients much faster.

“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,” said Jason Holloway, managing director at Bridgeway and founder of the Phones for Patients initiative. “This is why we have launched this free initiative, and our whole team is dedicating their work and spare time to make this happen.

“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.”

Details here - please note that the chargers and any relevant cables are needed as well as the handsets.

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