Hospital improving special needs support

Staff at Lincoln County Hospital are hoping improve hospital stays for children with special needs and their families with various projects.

The staff are working with the children and their parents, community teams, and special schools to improve the support for children when they are in hospital.

The projects aim to help doctors, school nurses, and health visitors manage as well, by providing the correct support and resources.

Projects so far include encouraging communications between the family or carers and wards prior to visit and a child-friendly admission booklet.

There are also posters in the hospital so parents and children know who to give information to so they can be treated less stressful.

Children visiting the ward also have an All About Me ‘passport’ which tells staff their likes, dislikes and ways of communicating and get a story book of their treatment.

Staff can also get specific training on autistic spectrum disorders in contact with children, including medical students.

There are also improvements already starting to be implemented on the wards for the older children, such as more dignified toilets.

The groups are still looking at more ways to improve children’s stay in the hospital though, and are collating people’s views for ideas.

If the projects are underway in Lincoln County Hospital and are successful, they will be pushed out at other Lincolnshire hospitals.

Community Nurse for Children with Learning Disabilities Carol Bentley, said: “The programme has already come a long way, and we are now focussing our efforts on gaining the opinions of those who use the service to move it forward.

“We want to raise awareness among parents of children with special needs in Lincolnshire to let them know the services are now in place to help them.

“Their opinions are important to us and we would also welcome their feedback.”

Source: United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust | Photo: Judy Merrill-Smith