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"A great experience for us both."

An image of mum Sammy, son Jack and our Amanda McKie. Sammy and Jack had a great experience today.
Some of our A&E Team with the Care Bags
An image of the contents of the Care Bags


Today, Monday 27th February, we launched our new Care Bags which are going to help our patients who, because of their special health conditions, might find waiting in our A&Es a challenge.

And we've already had brilliant feedback this morning from mum Sammy and Jack aged 6 who is autistic, pictured with Nurse Consultant for Learning Disabilities, Amanda McKie in HRI's A&E.

Sammy said: "Thank you so much for taking the time to complete a positive hospital visit with me and Jack this morning, it was such a great experience for us both. The care bag is fantastic with a lovely selection of sensory supporting toys, this would certainly help make a visit to hospital easier for neurodiverse families."

The bags are for children and young people and adults with Learning Disability/Autism. They include ear defenders, tactile objects, a colouring book and crayons and an easy read leaflet about A&E to support them through tests and investigations while they are in the departments.

Thanks go to our Charity for funding them and to our Project Search colleagues for producing the design on the bag. Both deserve a huge shout out!

There was a competition to find a design and Roy Hayes - expert by experience and Lead the Way ambassador and member of our Enhanced Learning Disability pathway group - chose the winner - Ash Bury, pictured below left.

Amanda said getting feedback was the next step. She said: “We will now be gathering feedback from everyone who gets one to find out the difference they made to their experience and if they could suggest any changes or improvements.”

She also thanked Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust for sharing their care bag ideas with us especially the Learning Disability and Autism team.