A SCHEME launched by a Bury nurse and a law firm to get iPads into hospital wards is being backed by a string of celebrities including actresses and TV hosts.

BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker and Hollyoaks actor Amanda Clapham were keen to give their backing to the Stay Together scheme - which has already helped dozens of patients in the Royal Oldham Hospital keep in touch with relatives.

Leona Harris, who works at Fairfield General, is now hoping to extend the initiative still further.

Casualty star Amanda Mealing - who plays fictional consultant Connie Beauchamp - has recorded a heartfelt video backing the campaign.

The news comes as special measures to try and stop the surge in Covid -19 infections are introduced across Greater Manchester.

Leona started the #staytogether campaign after witnessing distressing scenes in hospital isolation wards where patients are cut off from friends and family.

She has witnessed the heartache as patients have been unable to speak with family and tragically some have died without any contact.

She wanted to use technology to get sick patients back in touch with relatives and came up with the idea of buying iPads.

Leona joined forces with Manchester-based lawyers Simpson Millar, where her husband Nick is a partner, and raised over £70,000 to get iPads onto hospital wards. She now wants to raise a further £50,000.

Nurses are still desperate to get hold of more iPads for wards so that they are able to help patients in case of any further spike in Covid-19 infection cases. The law firm is also looking to extend the scheme to hospices.

People are being asked not to visit friends' houses and to keep two metres apart outside. And anyone shielding has been asked to continue until next month and care homes will now not relax restrictions.

Leona added: “I am very humbled to be involved with this campaign and very gratefully for all the support from the celebrities, the public and other nurses and healthcare staff. If we work together we can get through this."

To make a donation to the campaign go to https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/staytogether