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New sensory support for people having blood tests

Pathology room ws
New sensory support for people having blood tests
25 November 2021

The IOW NHS Trust’s Pathology service now have a new sensory room which is designed to relax and distract patients who struggle to have their bloods taken.

Lots of people, including those with learning disabilities, autism, PTSD, people with dementia, anxiety and people who have a phobia of needles can really struggle when it comes to having their bloods taken.

Steve Reynolds, Learning Disability Hospital Liaison Nurse said: “There is a lot of evidence to support sensory rooms to help people that struggle with having their blood taken. A sensory room is a special room designed to develop a person's sense, usually through special lighting, music and objects. By providing a sense of calm and comfort, sensory rooms help people learn to self-regulate their needs, which ultimately improves focus.

“The sensory room has been painted to tone down the colour and the equipment is a Rhino voyager sensory trolley which has a colour changing hurricane ball machine and a projector that projects different images onto the walls. It also has a music dock so any music of choice can be played. The trolley also has mirrors which allows it to be angled so patients can only see themselves and not the procedure taking place.”

The Learning Disabilities Liaison Team and the Pathology Department worked together and placed a bid to the Trust’s Patient Council, who hold a small budget to help improve, complete or contribute funds to services within the Trust that need help with any equality, disability or accessibility issues.

Gemma Radley, Phlebotomy Supervisor said: “It’s really important that we have something that helps every single person who struggles having their bloods taken. We have only received positive feedback from the patients or their carers that have used it.

“It’s also made the process easier for us too. Patients come in being nervous, scared, anxious and wanting to get out of the chair, but the room has been brilliant, and it’s made the process a lot better and a lot quicker. Having your bloods taken can be quite traumatic for the patient as well as for their parent or carer so the room and equipment has made it a lot easier for them both”

Elizabeth Spinks, a carer said “I think its lovely, it’s the first time we have used it and having all the lights on was lovely. It’s the first time my client has sat still for that amount of time so obviously the lights and bubbles really distracted them. It’s a great addition to the service; it can be quite scary in there for some, and that room is perfect as its private, quieter, and calm.

If anyone is visiting the Pathology Department as a patient, parent or carer and would benefit from using this room, please do just ask at reception

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