Hospital staff sign to help patients

Staff nurse Vicky Celoleskaj and Senior Physiotherapy Assistant Julie Jepson.
Staff nurse Vicky Celoleskaj and Senior Physiotherapy Assistant Julie Jepson.

A group of healthcare workers at a Doncaster hospital trust have been using sign language to communicate with patients who have learning difficulties.

The staff, who all worked together on Ward C2 at Bassetlaw when they began learning sign language, noticed that they were caring for more and more patients who needed alternative ways of communication.

So they jumped into action and enlisted the help of Bassetlaw Community Learning Disability team and got themselves trained up in the use of different communication techniques.

The team use the Makaton symbols and signs because they found that not all patients understood the British sign language.

Staff Nurse Vicky Celoleskaj came up with the idea.

Vicky said: “We wanted to do more for our patients to make their stay in hospital a little less daunting. I am pleased that we did the training. It has made such a difference and I know our patients appreciate it. You can see in their faces when they know we have listened and understood them.” The sessions involved recognising the different communication barriers people experience.