Royal offers more support for patients with Autism
To mark the start of Learning at Work Week, the Chesterfield Royal Hospital has launched a new resource to help patients living with Autism.
Six Autism resource boxes have been rolled out across the hospital, containing a number of devices, tools, distractions and information to help patients on our wards and outpatient suites cope with the experience of being in hospital.
Sarah Sewell is the Royal’s Inter-Professional Development Lead, she said:-
“We developed Dementia Reminiscence Packs a number of years ago that featured a number of visual and physical aids to help with communication and memory. These have been very well received so we thought that we could do the same for patients presenting with Autism.
“The boxes have a variety of contents designed to help to reduce some of the sensory symptoms that can be an issue for patients on the Autistic spectrum. For example, some patients may find it difficult to cope with loud noises or a wide range of sounds that can come with a busy ward, so we have some ear defenders. Similarly, others experience discomfort and distress with bright lights so we have dark glasses to reduce its impact.
“There are also physical distractions such as twiddle-mitts to help keep fidgeting hands occupied, and coloured wrist bands and mood fans to help convey how a patient is feeling in the clinical environment. In the patient, carer and relative packs we have patient information, hospital passports and leaflets that will help to improve the patient experience. These packs will be available in all of the clinical areas so please ask a member of staff to provide you with one.
“All of the contents of the boxes and packs have been provided following a successful bid to the Royal’s charitable funds; patients, carers and staff have been involved in developing the resource contents. The aim is to make the experience as comfortable as possible physically, emotionally and mentally whilst creating an environment that will allow them to communicate more effectively. This means that patients and carers or relatives will be more empowered in decisions about them and their care.
The boxes have been made available on our Emergency Department, in the Chesterfield Eye Centre, on Nightingale ward, within midwifery, and there will be a spare set based in the Education Centre Library. The Inter-Professional Development team will be taking the packs around the Trust during Learning at Work Week to explain more about them, what is inside and how they can request one. Further packs can be requested from the library team.