THERAPY staff at an Oxfordshire hospital have gone the extra mile to keep patients entertained during the pandemic.

Before the outbreak of Covid-19, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the Horton General Hospital as well as the John Radcliffe, used 'anti-boredom boxes' full of activities to prevent patients getting bored while they spend time in hospital.

Due to coronavirus, these boxes, which contained games, quiz books, and cross word books, are unable to be used because of extra infection control restrictions.

The Horton therapy team, however, has worked to put a different activity pack together, especially important as visitors are restricted due to Covid-19.

Adam Newberry, a therapy assistant at the trust, said: “By photocopying pages from the books provided in the ‘anti-boredom’ boxes, we were able to provide patients with fun activities to stop them getting bored while they are spending time in hospital. We have put different activity packs together based on different patients’ interests."

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One of those to benefit from the activity packs is 94-year-old Winifred Donovan, who was cared for in the Emergency Assessment Unit (EAU) Ward for three days in April.

The Banbury resident, who enjoys art, quizzes, word searches, and colouring in, said: "I had a really excellent time, and the staff were all very nice and kind to me. I thoroughly enjoyed the activity packs as it gave me something to do in hospital.

"I'm not very mobile so am having to spend a lot of time at home alone trying to find things to help pass the time.

"The activity packs have rekindled my passion for drawing and colouring again and I am now doing much more of it at home."

Mr Newberry, who has made 120 activity packs, added: “It has been a small bit of work, but it has made such a positive difference to our patients at this time.”