Liverpool Women’s Hospital is delighted to announce that its Safeguarding Team has been shortlisted for a ‘Learning Disabilities Initiative of the Year’ award at this year’s HSJ Patient Safety Awards, recognising their outstanding contribution to healthcare.
Their pilot project ‘Using Virtual Reality as a Reasonable Adjustment’, is bespoke to Liverpool Women’s, and offers patients, who may find coming to hospital distressing, an immersive experience using three-dimensional virtual reality so they can experience the hospital and its surroundings before attending their appointment.
By experiencing the hospital in the safety of their own home, it is hoped anxiety will be reduced thereby improving the experience for both the patient and their carer, removing a potential barrier to accessing care and reducing health inequalities.
The project has been supported by external partners including those who support patients with learning disabilities and autism, and whilst virtual reality has been used as a therapeutic tool for reducing anxiety and phobias on an individual basis this will be the first time virtual reality has been used as a Reasonable Adjustment.
Amanda McDonough, Associate Director of Nursing and Midwifery for Safeguarding said:
“Whilst we, as a Trust, are always happy to accommodate the needs of those who find coming into hospital distressing and use various methods to reduce anxiety and provide reassurance, we have been limited to trying to describe what to expect using words and pictures or visiting when the hospital is quiet. This project not only embraces digital innovation but provides a much needed opportunity for our patients and their carers to experience actually being in hospital whilst remaining in the safety of their own home.”
The Safeguarding Team was shortlisted despite the tough competition from hundreds of applicants. They have been selected based on their ambition, visionary spirit and the demonstrable positive impact that their project has on patient and staff experiences within the health and/or social care sector.
Winners will be selected ahead of the ceremony, which will take place virtually as part of the Patient Safety Virtual Congress and Awards in November 2020.