A YORK novelist has publicly praised the hospital system that enabled him to visit his mother safely.

Mark Thompson’s mother Hazel was admitted to hospital in Stockton-on-Tees with heart failure.

He lives in York and hospital visits have been suspended for months as part of the general nationwide restrictions to prevent coronavirus infection spreading.

But under the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust’s Linking Loved Ones scheme, he could book a virtual visit and mother and son were united via an iPad in her hand.

They were able to chat despite Hazel’s lack of expertise with internet technology.

Mark, a published novelist whose debut ‘Dust’ has been published in several languages, said: “The virtual visit was fabulous. It was just fantastic.

“The level of efficiency from the hospital team was incredible.

“I emailed to ask for a visit to be set up, mum isn’t great with technology, and someone soon called me back and we booked in a time for the visit.

“I was at home on my tablet and a hospital volunteer called Kirsty helped mum on the ward to use the IPad.

“Just seeing her face was a real relief.

“A phone call is one thing, but it’s not the same as seeing someone.

“Mum really felt like she’d had a visit, and it was better for me to be able to see her as well as speak to her.

“It’s a fantastic system and it worked flawlessly.”

He was so impressed he took to Twitter to praise the system, calling it a “wonderful system in this difficult time.”

His mother has now been discharged and is recovering at home.