Quality Care - everyone, everytime
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Trust works with patients with disabilities
23 November 2017

Staff and patients at Isle of Wight NHS Trust have been working through the Trust’s ‘Patients with a Disability Working Group’ (PDWG) to fund and purchase a number of support aids that can be used to help improve the patient’s experience of being an in-patient or visitor to the Trust.

The following are areas that the PDWG have worked on and provided:

  • Fidget Boxes – include a range of ‘fidget’ toys and gadgets for children and adults to help improve focus, stimulate tactile sensation, ease stressed nerves, express hyperactivity, calm addictive impulses, increase memory retention and to simply help keep patients or visitors busy. They are perfect for any person with disabilities, dementia, learning disabilities such as autism, ADHD, etc.. 
  • Boom Boxes & USB Story Books - These are used to play story books and are perfect for patients who are visually impaired or blind, have a brain injury and cannot watch TV, who struggle to read, or for any patient that simply would like to listen to a story rather than read or watch TV.
  • 1:1 Hearing Devices – These are used for patients who are hard of hearing; they block out the back ground noise in a busy ward environment and improve speech clarity. They are very simple to use and very valuable for the patient.
  • Disability Bed Head Signs – All wards have a supply of disability bedhead signs that can, with the patients permission, be placed above their bed to indicate to other staff members & visitors that the patient has a disability and may need additional assistance.
  • Picture cards/visual supports – There are a number of picture cards suitable for the following subjects: hospital, food, feelings & emotion and general needs such as toileting needs. They are very helpful to use if you are experiencing communication difficulties and English is not your first language. Our Adult Speech & Language Therapy team are specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of communication disorders and will facilitate and determine if you would require alternative communication support.
  • Easy Read Documents – the Trust is able to produce written documentation such as letters and patient information leaflets into an easy read format.

The PDWG meet quarterly and manage an annual budget of £10,000 allocated by the Trust which is spent on improving, completing or contributing funds to services provided by the Trust to help with any disability issues. Any service or staff member within the Trust can bid for funding.

Vanessa Flower, Patient Experience Lead & Chair of the PDWG said: “The group have sourced and purchased some really valuable items that we hope will help improve the experience of a person with a disability that visits the hospital. Staff have been informed that these items are available but we felt we should also let the public know so they are able to ask for them should they or a relative ever be a patient. We want to expand on the group currently so if anyone is interested in the PDWG and the work we do please get in touch.”

The PDWG are recruiting new members! If you have a disability or are a carer or family member of someone with a disability and you are interested in joining the PDWG  please contact Jo Cram in the Communication, Engagement & Membership Team on 01983 822099 Ext 6184 or email jo.cram@iow.nhs.uk. We will be delighted to hear from you.

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