Virtual Reality comes to St Leonard
Using Virtual Reality to improve patient care and the Hospice experience at St Leonard's!
Posted Dec 13

Virtual Reality comes to St Leonard's Hospice

We started exploring the use of Virtual Reality at St Leonard’s about a year and a half ago. We were keen to use the new technology to directly benefit patients, families and patient care.

We made a general request to the University of York for some help with the project, and this led us to Adam (pictured) who has very kindly done all our virtual reality filming and editing on an entirely voluntary basis.

He said: "I first heard about the project through the call for volunteers that St Leonard's Hospice sent out (which was then forwarded to the university by Dr Kate Flemming, Senior Lecturer in Health Sciences at the University of York). As an independent filmmaker, I am always looking for interesting projects to get involved in. 360 film is an exciting, burgeoning field, and the central ideas behind the project (of using local films to bring comfort to hospice patients) meant I was absolutely happy to volunteer my time and skills. I'm really pleased with what we've achieved so far on the project, and hope that patients and their loved ones can experience the films and enjoy the peace and calm of some of York's most iconic landscapes."

Adam’s work was greatly complemented by the loan of filming and editing equipment from the University’s Department of Theatre, Film and Television. Adam has put many hours of work into the project over the past 18 months and we are hugely grateful to him (and the University) for that, as well as being delighted with the quality of the outcome.

In an effort to explore how we could develop our use of VR, our Occupational Therapist Frances Pantin met with Helen Petrie (Professor of Human Computer Interaction), Stefan Carmien (Researcher technology for people with cognitive impairments) and Anna Bramwell-Dicks (Lecturer in Web Development and Interactive Media) at the University of York, along with Kate Flemming (Senior Lecturer Department of Health Sciences and Hospice Trustee), Karen Quigley (Lecturer in Theatre who later did the voiceover for our Hospice tour VR video); and Adam Jacob Burgess.  In the future we hope to undertake research into the benefits of using Virtual Reality in a care setting, and also hope to add to our bank of films with more iconic local settings not just in York but throughout Yorkshire, for patients to enjoy e.g. local coastlines, North York Moors etc.

You can view the video here - and watch this space for further updates into our Virtual Reality journey!