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Funded sensory boxes to soothe the senses of hospitalized patients

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Rotherham Hospital and the community charity have funded resource-filled sensory boxes to help patients feel relaxed while waiting for their treatment.

For many people with autism and learning disabilities, being treated in hospital can be a daunting experience. To help patients of all ages feel less anxious, the charity has funded 10 boxes filled with sensory toys that use light, sound and texture to distract the mind and hands.

Autism and Learning Disabilities Champions from the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust will test the boxes in key locations at Rotherham Hospital, including the Urgent and Urgent Care Centre, and are just the he is one of the initiatives the Trust is adopting to achieve autism friendly accreditation from the National Autistic Society.

Jennifer Turedi, chief nurse at the Autism and Learning Disabilities Trust, bid for the £450 resource. She says:

“We know that sensory equipment, such as kaleidoscopes and flashing balls, have a calming effect on people’s anxiety levels when in unfamiliar surroundings and thanks to our hospital charity, we now have a host of wonderful resources that can be used in quiet areas or at the bedside of a sick person.

“We are absolutely delighted with this, as it means we can do even more to ensure that our most vulnerable patients have a calmer and less intimidating hospital experience. These are such simple resources, but we know they will make a big difference.

The Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity is raising funds to provide additional resources, equipment and special projects that the NHS would not normally be able to afford. The charity has previously funded similar sensory boxes filled with traditional games and art resources for dementia and stroke patients.

Suzanne Rutter, Charity Engagement and Development Manager, said:

“Thanks to our amazing donors and fundraisers, the charity is able to provide these incredibly simple yet effective resources. We know that people with learning disabilities and autism tend to spend more time in the hospital, they will therefore be invaluable in relieving the frustration and boredom that patients often feel during their recovery, and they will prove to be an excellent icebreaker for staff who are presenting to patients for the first time.

“They will also help us move closer to achieving accreditation from the National Autistic Society, which means we will be a model of good practice.”