A CHARITY has donated computer tablets to seriously ill patients in hospitals.

Durham Freemasons have provided 50 Samsung Galaxys people in Darlington, Sunderland, Durham, Gateshead, and North Tees so they can communicate with their families.

During the current crisis, NHS hospitals have been forced to limit visits to patients to control infections, some of those suffering from the virus can be in intensive care for two to three weeks or more, with one-to-one visits only being allowed for dying patients.

This has led hospitals to try to find a way to help patients communicate with their families during this difficult time.

Andie Ruddy, a health care assistant at North Tees, said: “It’s been really difficult setting up video conferences for our patients to say ‘goodbye’.

“Using are existing technology we are required to sit there and inevitably listening at these difficult and private moments.

“The tablets will allow us to provide privacy for our patients and their family at a very difficult time.Thank you Durham Freemasons, it will help the patients and families but also reduce the pressure and stress of those working on the ward.”