Learning Disabilities

RCHT’s Learning Disability Nursing and Safeguarding Team receive award for new book

5 February 2021 | By |

‘Going to Hospital’, the 5th Book in the Looking Up Series, has been named winner of the 2021 Waterloo Foundation Embracing Complexity Award.

'Going to Hospital' book cover depicting a member of the safeguarding team, a parent/guardian and a child walking towards the front entrance of the hospital.Working alongside the Cornwall Down’s Syndrome Support Group (CDSSG), members of the Learning Disability Nursing and Safeguarding Team from the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust have been named the overall winners of the 2021 Waterloo Foundation Award for Embracing Complexity. The award is for ‘Going to Hospital’, an accessible, easy read publication for patients with learning disability or autism, which aims to help children and young people with additional needs better understand what they might expect to see when visiting hospital for an appointment, or when being admitted for a procedure.

This new book is the work of co-authors Jane Rees, Manager of the RCHT’s Learning Disability and Autism Liaison Team, and Angie Emrys-Jones, Publications Lead for the Cornwall Down’s Syndrome Support Group.

“It’s a great honour to receive this award for Embracing Complexity.”

Jane continues. “The feedback we’ve received for the book has been incredibly supportive and encouraging from the outset, and for our work to be recognised with a nomination from Dr Elizabeth Corcoran, part of the Down’s syndrome Research Foundation UK, and the approval of the Waterloo Foundation, is incredibly humbling.”

Jane continues: “From the RCHT’s perspective, communication is one of the biggest obstacles a patient with learning disabilities might face when coming into hospital. We developed this book in the hope that it might help patients, families and staff to break down some of the barriers that the patient might encounter during an admission or appointment. The book can be used to help reduce anxiety and give the patient time to process what might happen when they attend our hospitals, and to ask questions about their care.”

Angie Emrys-Jones, Co-Author for CDSSG, adds: “When Jane approached us to work with her on creating the book, we knew it would be a successful resource. Our proven picture format with the prior ‘Going To’ series speaks volumes to all children and young people, both with and without additional needs, and works perfectly for this particular project. We are very excited about the potential reach and impact of this simple but so useful book and download that really will improve health outcomes for so many who are apprehensive about a hospital visit or procedure.”

Jane concludes:

“The book is designed to be transferable to other trusts by enabling other hospitals to adapt and tailor their own versions of the book, and therefore being relatable in other areas of the UK. This will hopefully reach yet more people, showing some of the procedures, equipment, and types of staff that children and young people with additional needs might see during their hospital visit.”

A digital copy of the book can be found on our Safeguarding Services website – under the category ‘Learning Disabilities and Autism, Acute Liaison’ – or can be accessed via the documents library.

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