VR headsets are being used to calm patients during minor operations.

Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham is one of the first hospitals in the country to use Therapeutic Virtual Reality (TVR).

Andrea Hattabi, a senior sister for interventional radiology at the hospital, said using the headset helps “block pain receptors”.

Medway NHS Foundation Trust started offering TVR as a pilot for various procedures in August 2023.

Since it was introduced, more than 200 patients have used TVR.

The trust said it improves a patient’s recovery, helps lower anxiety and pain, and subsequently helps to lower blood pressure.

There are eight different virtual reality environments for patients to choose from including a sunny beach and walking in a forest in the summer.

Patients can choose to wear headphones while using the VR headset. When this happens the staff member operating the tablet wears a headset with a microphone so they can communicate with the patient.

Eric Hitchcock, 72, needs minor surgery every six weeks to clear out his kidneys.

He said he was sceptical of the VR headsets at first.

However, after being told his blood pressure dropped significantly while using the headset he said there has to be “something in it”.

This article was first published by Mark Norman from the BBC. Read the original article here.