NNUH staff can now use sign-a-long

A group of Learning Disability Link Practitioners at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) has just completed a new course to help them communicate more easily with patients with learning disabilities and/or autism, by signing.

Eight Learning Disability Link Practitioners have successfully completed a Foundation Course in Sign-a-long Phase One. Sign-a-long is a specific type of sign for people with learning disabilities and is taught in schools for children with special educational needs across Norfolk.

The Link Practitioners work in wards and out-patient departments throughout the hospital and act as a link between those areas and the Learning Disability Nurse Liaison team who can provide further support to individual patients. The Link Practitioners attend regular training sessions to update their skills and have had training on how to make communicate more accessible.

Tristan Johnson, Learning Disability Liaison Nurse at NNUH, said: “This course has been the next step in part of our continuous commitment to improving how we can communicate with patients with learning disabilities and/or autism. Sign-a-long is used to supplement how we communicate with patients, which is particularly important in hospitals when we are assessing and managing pain. It also assists patients with learning disabilities who have language problems, in their communication with us.”

She added: “The Link Practitioners have mastered the basics of sign-a-long and some of them are now ordering books with signs specific to their areas so that they can teach themselves even more signs.”

NNUH Public Governor, Carol Edwards, said: “This is a really important development as it will continue to improve communication, care and support for people with learning disabilities who often find hospitals a frightening place or are mis understood when they require care and treatment. I am delighted that the Norfolk and Norwich have yet again led the way to helping people with learning disabilities.”

The training programme was funded through the Continuing Professional Development Fund available to the Trust by Health Education East of England.

Monday 24th of February 2014 10:00:14 AM