Dr Aine Connolly, Senior Clinical Neuro Psychologist, Stroke Services, TUH & Naas General Hospital; Adam Harris, Founder and Chief Executive of AsIAm; Geraldine Kyle, Nurse Tutor in the Centre for Learning & Development; and Shauna Ennis, Head of the Centre for Learning & Development at TUH.
Autistic patients attending Tallaght University Hospital (TUH) will now benefit from improved accommodation of their specific needs, a more knowledgeable workforce and a calmer hospital experience.
It is all thanks to a new video produced to help healthcare professionals interacting with autistic children and adults in an acute hospital setting.
TUH staff worked with AsIAm, the autism advocacy group, to make the educational video on autism in the hospital. It is the first of its kind produced in Ireland.
Sharon Larkin, HR Lead, TUH, said Tallaght Hospital is striving for a reputation for excellence in caring for autistic patients in the acute care setting.
“The hospital has already adapted the environment in some of our outpatient areas, children’s ED and radiology departments. This video will be an excellent tool for our staff in increasing and developing their knowledge in this area,” she said.
Contributors to the video include Adam Harris, founder and CEO of AsIAm.ie; representatives of AsIAm.ie; Dr Aine Connolly, Senior Clinical Neuro-psychologist, Stroke Services, TUH & Naas General Hospital; Dr Joanne Balfe, Consultant Paediatrician CHI (Complex needs & Neurodisability); Prof Louise Gallagher, Professor Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Trinity Institute of Neurosciences; and Stephanie Kelly, Community Child Health Liaison Nurse (Autism) CHI at Tallaght Hospital.
Adam Harris, founder and Chief Executive of AsIAm, said they were delighted to partner with TUH in developing this video.
“A more knowledgeable workforce will lead to much better experiences for autistic patients. I’m delighted the video will also be hosted on the HSE’s online learning and development portal so it should also assist staff in other hospitals and healthcare settings around the country,” said Adam.
The video was produced with the support of TUH and the Nursing and Midwifery Planning and Development Unit in the HSE.
Nurse Tutor in the Centre for Learning & Development, Geraldine Kyle said, “I was delighted to lead this initiative for TUH. As a parent of an autistic child, I have experience of health services from both sides and I really wanted to bring the learning experience into the acute hospital setting. The benefits of this video will be huge and I hope healthcare professionals can take the time out to learn from it so children and adults can benefit from the learnings it contains.”
The hospital also launched an ‘Art, Awareness and Autism’ art exhibition which will run until March. The artists’ work is highly creative, diverse in theme, art medium and format with many of the artists expressing a sense that is unique to them and their experience of autism through their artwork. The exhibition highlights the creative skills of the artists’ involved, is inclusive and encourages an awareness and understanding of autism through art for its patients, staff and visitors to TUH.
The video is 40 minutes long and is available to healthcare professionals through HSELand. You can watch a brief section of the video via this link.