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Ambulance app wins award

App which allows ambulance staff to communicate with patients with additional communication needs wins award

Friday 12 May
Ambulance app wins award

Editor - May 12 at 07:00

An innovative app which helps frontline ambulance staff interact with patients with additional communication needs has won an award. The Welsh Ambulance Service was presented with the People’s Choice award at Action on Hearing Loss Cymru’s Excellence Wales Awards on Friday, May 5. The trust was recognised for its use of technology to enable ambulance teams to communicate with people who are deaf or hard of hearing in an emergency.
The Pre-Hospital Communication Guide app uses pictures and supporting text, and can also assist patients who don’t speak English as their first language, have learning difficulties, or whose illness or injury affects their communication. Since it was launched in October 2016, it has been downloaded more than 2,200 times and helps staff to find out important information about patients, such as their symptoms and medical history. It can also identify if they use a specific communication method or which language they speak. Leanne Hawker, the Welsh Ambulance Service’s head of patient experience and community involvement, said: “Being able to communicate with deaf people when they’re receiving emergency medical treatment can be crucial, which is why we developed our app. “We know that it has made a difference for both staff and patients so we’re delighted to have won the People’s Choice Award. “We really do recognise the importance of ensuring that we are accessible to everyone and we’re looking to continuing to improve our service in the years to come.”
The trust also finished as runners up in the Excellence in Health category at the charity’s annual awards, which recognise organisations that take steps to make their services accessible to the 575,500 people in Wales who are deaf or have hearing loss. The app was pioneered by both the Trust’s Patient Experience and Community Involvement and Business Intelligence and Development teams, and is based on a small booklet which was originally developed by The Clear Communication People Ltd and The London Ambulance Service in 2011. Richard Williams, Director of Action on Hearing Loss Cymru, said: “All our winners prove that simple changes can make the lives of people with hearing loss more manageable on a day-to-day basis. “I hope that organisations across Wales are inspired by our winners and start thinking about the simple changes they can make to ensure their services are accessible to the one-in-six people who are deaf or have hearing loss.”
The app has also been nominated at the Patient Safety Awards, which take place in Manchester on July 4th 2017. It is available for staff and members of the public to download on devices using the iOS, Android and Blackberry systems. To download it on iOS devices search your app store for ‘PreHospApp’, for Android search ‘pre hospital app’ and on Blackberry search for ‘Pre-Hospital Communication App’.
Source: South Wales Argus

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