Supporting Family Communications During the Coronavirus Outbreak

14 March 2020

Supporting Family Communications During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Due to restricted family visiting during the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as the possibility of parents contracting the virus and being unable to visit their child, recently published RCPCH guidance suggests that units should "seek to mitigate loss of family contact with video techniques."

vCreate is an NHS Trusted video messaging service specifically designed for neonatal and paediatric units to securely share video and photo updates with parents and wider family to help minimise separation anxiety. It is currently approved for use in over 75 units across the UK.

To help with the specific challenges brought about through COVID-19, and to help units who do not yet use the service, we are now able to provide flexible, pay-as-you-go monthly pricing with NO annual commitment and the facility to switch it off when you no longer need it. This is available immediately to any units not currently using vCreate throughout the duration of COVID-19.

To ensure fairness, the cost of vCreate depends on the number of cots within your unit as this is a useful indication of likely usage. Please contact us with this number so we can provide you with a monthly cost for your unit.

Implementing vCreate within your unit

The following outlines the process for implementing vCreate as quickly as possible:

1. To request an immediate online demo for your team please visit or email We will facilitate a demo for you as soon as possible.

2. Your Trust's Information Governance team will require the completion of a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) which we will complete for you. As speed is of the essence and delays will hinder the positive impact that this service will have, we suggest you ask them to prioritise assessment and approval, quoting the RCPCH guidance.

3. Speak to your unit charity about funding vCreate on a rolling monthly basis. We can provide you with a PDF to forward onto them that shows likely costs and how supporting vCreate within your unit would work. You'll also need an iPad, we've found that the least expensive 32Gb WiFi iPad works perfectly well.

4. Engage your IT team so they are ready to configure your iPad to an available wifi network and setup the unit email address you'll need for your vCreate service. We will send you all the information they will need to do this.

5. Nominate two "vCreate Champions" to support and mentor colleagues to ensure that families are kept up-to-date during this challenging time. We will liaise with them directly to setup training and onboarding.

We appreciate the urgency of the situation and we are prioritising the onboarding of units to help mitigate the challenges that COVID-19 brings to families with children being cared for in your unit. We are here to support you and your teams and will do whatever we possibly can to help. Please don't hesitate to get in touch, or if you have any questions.

CALL: 0333 121 8422