16 October 2020

Shropshire’s two acute hospitals have taken delivery of two new Sensory Carts to help relax and calm patients living with dementia, and children with delayed learning – thanks to Captain Sir Tom Moore’s incredible fundraising.

Captain Tom’s fundraising for NHS Charities Together has enabled The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), which runs the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) and the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Telford, to buy the advanced soothing Sensory Carts – one for the Children’s Ward at PRH and the other for the Dementia Ward at RSH.

Designed specifically for older adults with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, the Sensory Cart is used for sensory therapy; this also makes them beneficial for children with learning difficulties, to reduce stress and anxiety. By using lights, soothing sounds, and distraction techniques, the Sensory Cart can help patients to cope.

Jodie Frost, Play Specialist at SaTH, explains: “The sensory trolley has a bubble tube, sensory lights, a projector, DVD player, TV and a Bluetooth speaker. With this new furniture, we can turn our patient’s rooms into a sensory room. Time spent in a sensory room can help patients, from babies to special needs children, to improve their visual, auditory and tactile processing, as well as their gross motor skills.

“We are able to provide our patients with extra sensory stimulation and ensure we are meeting the individual needs of those in our care. We have used the trolley every day since it was delivered and we’ve had lots of smiles and giggles on the ward.”

Karen Breese, Dementia Nurse Specialist at SaTH said: “Some of the patients living with dementia become anxious and distressed in hospital under normal circumstances. Add in the global pandemic and we have seen a significant increase in many feeling even more confused.

“The new Sensory Cart has the means to distract people living with dementia and keep them occupied. This helps towards adjusting to the strange environment and use of PPE.”

Julia Clarke, Director of Corporate Services at SaTH, comments: “COVID19 has been challenging for all, in particular our adult dementia patients and children with delayed learning. They have been confused and unable to understand the constraints of the virus and to follow social distancing best practices.

“The Sensory Carts provide comfort and reassurance and have a calming influence on these patients, which helps them to face change. Another wonderful donation from Captain Tom’s fundraising for NHS Charities Together.”