Sensory Room to support Adult Learning Disability patients at the South West Acute Hospital’s Emergency Department Officially Opens
The Western Trust is delighted to officially open the new Sensory Room to support Adult Learning Disability patients in the Emergency Department at the South West Acute Hospital, Enniskillen.
Speaking at the opening of Sensory Room, Emer Ferguson, Acute Liaison Nurse Learning Disability at the South West Acute Hospital said:
“We are delighted to welcome you all here today to celebrate the official opening of this wonderful new sensory room at the South West Acute Hospital’s Emergency Department.
“We are aware that people with learning disabilities/autism often experience difficulties with processing sensory information that we may not even be aware of, such as lighting, sounds, smells and the environment which can all contribute to sensory issues, stresses, anxiety and overwhelm. The Western Trust is committed to raising the profile of learning disabilities across all services and as part of that, this sensory space has been developed. This room is an alternative to the busy environment of the Emergency Department, it will offer sanctuary from all the stimuli that cannot be changed and will offer a safe environment which can be adapted to the persons own needs.”
“Feedback from service users, families and staff has been incredibly positive and this sensory room has created a soothing, calming environment which has benefited patients with a learning disability and assisted staff who are caring and treating them’.
Family of service user Patrick McDaid said:
“The sensory room was a godsend. Prior to moving to the room Patrick was distressed by all the coming and goings in the department and in turn that caused us distress. It was visible to see all his stress leave once he arrived in the sensory room. The room took us away from all the noise and commotion in the busy emergency department and Patrick just relaxed immediately and was able to have some of his tests completed more easily.”
Sr Emma Meegan, Emergency Department Manager at the South West Acute Hospital said:
“We are very excited to have this new sensory room in our Emergency Department. This room will help to support the needs of patients with a learning disability requiring treatment and help staff to identify reasonable adjustments that will make the person’s journey through the Emergency Department easier. This has been an excellent example of inter-departmental collaboration between Adult Learning Disability Services and our Emergency Department, with the result that we are now able to have this great addition to our Emergency Department. Feedback from both patients and staff regarding its use has been very positive.”
Christine McLaughlin, Assistant Director of Adult Learning Disability said:
“I would like to pay tribute to all those whose efforts contributed to making the sensory room a reality. It is a further asset to the very valuable work that is being supported by our Acute Liaison Nurse at South West Acute Hospital, Emer Ferguson. I also would like to extend a huge thank you to the staff from the Adult Learning Disability Community Teams locally in Fermanagh who completed the Belfast City Marathon earlier in the year as part of a relay team to raise funds for sensory equipment. Thank you to everyone who generously supported their fundraising efforts. We are delighted to be able to use the monies raised to provide some mobile sensory equipment on Wards in the Hospital. This is important to those we support within our roles in the Adult Learning Disability Service because we know that sensory suites and sensory equipment have been proven to make the journey through appointments and hospital stays easier and less distressing for adults with learning disabilities.”