DOCTORS and nurses treating York’s sickest patients have received vital support to improve communication in intensive care.

James Talbot, owner of Damson Global, has donated HeadBones X wireless open ear headsets and microphones to help health workers when they are wearing full personal protective equipment.

Dave Yates, a consultant at York Hospital, said: “We have been planning for this pandemic for several weeks now on the Intensive Care Unit but it’s only when patients start being admitted that processes can truly be tested.

“Some of our doctors and nurses have to wear rather cumbersome hoods as part of their Personal Protective Equipment against the virus. The hoods are effectively sound insulated and have noisy ventilation fans in them making communication very difficult.

“James’ Headbones X and microphones will allow team members to communicate more effectively which is absolutely crucial when looking after the sickest patients in the hospital.”

James whose York business sells head phones, speakers and surround sound, said a contact had alerted him to the challenges facing ICU nurses trying to communicate with people outside the protected area.

“As the nurses are often in the unit for between two to four hours it can feel very lonely and isolated.

"The bone conduction headsets sit in front of the ear so the nurse can still monitor the machines, like the ventilators, and also hear the patient.

"We’ve worked a way that the headset will connect with an Ipad that is left inside the unit, and then the nurse can communicate over Skype or Zoom to others in the ward.

"They asked for my head sets on Thursday night and got them Friday morning. They are working inside the ward with one of the most contagious diseases we have ever known. It must be harrowing.

"Anything that can be done to help them feel less isolated is good.”

James had been due to open his shop, Damson, in High Petergate, to sell head phones, speakers and surround sound two weeks ago. That has now been put on hold.

“We are a York business," he added. " My son was born in York Hospital. If anything happened to me or my family or friends I would like to know my products have helped. I might need their help.”