Nurse is first of his kind at West Suffolk Hospital
Patients with a learning disability or autism can now receive extra support at West Suffolk Hospital following the appointment of a new specialist nurse.
Paul Hunter is the hospital’s first learning disabilities liaison nurse. His aim is to improve care by identifying any specific needs which patients with a learning disability or autism may have before they come to hospital so that the right support can be provided.
Paul will also work with colleagues to provide advice and highlight areas where a different approach and adjustments may be necessary to improve the care which patients receive. This could include longer or different appointment times,
providing easy read information and offering advice on communication strategies and recognising pain or distress.
His appointment comes following a commitment from West Suffolk Hospital to improve healthcare and treatment for people with learning disabilities and autism.
“We want to make sure that everyone using the hospital has a positive experience by looking at what we can do differently or how we can be flexible in caring for patients with learning disabilities or autism,” said Paul. “I am passionate about ensuring we provide each person with the right care and treatment and believe that if we get it right for people with learning disabilities and autism, then we will get it right for every
other patient accessing the hospital.
“I aim to develop a relationship with the patients and their relatives or carers before they come for their appointment or admission. I will then assess their needs so that we can make any necessary adjustments so their visit to hospital is as comfortable as it can be. This can include arranging for the patient to meet hospital staff in advance, explaining tests they may have in a way which is easy to understand or
showing them any equipment we will be using.”
Paul has already held training courses for more than 100 colleagues to help them identify and better understand patients with learning disabilities or autism. He is now aiming to raise the profile of these patients further while also working with GPs to develop a database of people who may need extra support.
“I would encourage parents, carers, relatives or friends of anyone with a learning disability or autism to contact me in advance if they know they are due to come to the West Suffolk hospital,” added Paul. “Then I can make sure we make any necessary adjustments to help their visit run as smoothly and successfully as it possibly can.”
Anyone who would like to get in touch with Paul can dial 01284 712750 or email him at email@example.com.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Haverhill
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 25 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 5 C to 8 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: South west