A WIRRAL hospital has launched “care bags” to help patients with sensory needs.

Launched to support patients in the emergency department (ED) and admission units at Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (WUTH), the initiative is designed to offer comfort and reduce stress for people with autism and/or learning disabilities.

Patients with sensory needs often find the bustling and noisy environment of an ED overwhelming.

To help combat this, WUTH has introduced a special sensory care bag to enhance their hospital experience.

Janelle Holmes, Chief Executive of WUTH, added: “As a trust, we always encourage new ideas from staff to improve patient care.

“The sensory care bags are a perfect example. Patients with sensory needs can find environments like the ED overwhelming, and there's already evidence that these items are significantly helping.”

The bags include noise-cancelling earphones, an eye mask, a sensory chew bracelet, and a colouring book with pencils.

Each bag also contains an easy-read patient information leaflet and a feedback form to gather insights for continuous improvement.

Additionally, a health and wellbeing passport is included to provide staff with information about the patient's needs.

The sensory care bag initiative is the creation of Helen Newell, named nurse for safeguarding adults and the Trust’s lead for complex care. Helen collaborated closely with Autism Together, Mencap, and Healthwatch Wirral to develop this idea.

The initiative was launched during Learning Disability Week, with the new bags distributed to ED and other admission unit staff, ready to assist patients when needed.

Helen Newell said: “The feedback from staff has been wonderful.

“It's incredible how such a simple idea can have a hugely positive impact on someone's healthcare experience.

“It's rewarding to see the difference these items are starting to make.”