'IT'S good to talk', Bob Hoskins said in a memorable TV ad. And never has that been more true than now.

Many of us are cut off from our friends and family. Social distancing means we can't see them in person. And a lot of people feel isolated.

That's especially true of folk in hospital. With no visitors allowed, patients don't even have the solace of a bit of chat when their nearest and dearest visit.

And days in bed can seem long and lonely.

My mum has been in hospital recently. She had a wee fall and she's fine now. But she was desperate for visitors, and was upset when the nurses explained she couldn't have any.

They told me that lots of old people don't have mobile phones, and almost none have iPhones or tablet devices allowing them to see, as well as hear, from their family.

So we decided, in my parliamentary office, to set up a crowdfunder to buy some for our local hospitals around our constituency. And because we know small businesses are struggling, we'll spend the money we raise buying locally.

As I write this we've raised more than £1000.

At home, lots of people still rely on landlines. The elderly are especially dependent on them. But the prices charged for calls can be exorbitant.

Customers can rack up huge bills with rip-off rates for directory enquiries and The Speaking Clock, believing that they're still free as they once were. And even if they never call these numbers, daytime phone rates can be eye-watering.

That's why I wrote to the telecoms regulator OFCOM last month calling for companies to protect and support consumers who rely on landline phones to stay connected with loved ones during this crisis.

I asked for price caps on daytime phone charges so that no one was worried about punitive charges for long calls. And I asked, too, for a guarantee that no one would have their phone or internet cut off because they'd run into financial troubles.

I was delighted to hear back from the OFCOM boss Dame Melanie Dawes last week, promising that all data caps will be removed on fixed broadband services.

A series of new and generous landline packages will be introduced, with some companies providing free landline calls. And vulnerable customers will be prioritised at all times.

But I'd like to see the telecoms companies go further. I want a cast-iron guarantee that nobody's phone – or internet connection – will be cut off during this pandemic.

It was one of Scotland's greatest sons, Alexander Graham Bell, who invented the telephone. It's good to think that his remarkable legacy is keeping us safe, and helping bind us together a century and a half after he unveiled his triumph to the world.

To donate to the crowdfunder, please visit www.osp.scot/nhs