10 Aug 2022

Call to make A&E services more accessible to children on autism spectrum

Emmet Doyle
Independent Nationalist candidate for the Moor, Emmet Doyle has called on the Western Trust to explore ways of making Accident and Emergency services more accessible to those service users who may have young children with sensory difficulties or who are on the autism spectrum. He said: "Our healthcare staff do a fantastic job and provide a first class service to patients. In recent weeks after meeting families and young people with sensory difficulties or those who are on the autism spectrum, problems accessing Accident and Emergency services has arisen as a consistent challenge. “Any parent with a young child that attends A&E does so when no other option will do and is under immense stress as a result. Children with sensory difficulties or who are on the autism spectrum have the added difficulty of being sat in the waiting room for often hours when the service is very busy. “I am calling on Western Trust management to cater for a quiet, separate space for those young patients to be provided in the newly enlarged Accident and Emergency space being planned. “I have engaged with the Trust to determine the care pathway used in this instance and have been told that when a child presents to the department with ASD needs, they are triaged in order of their clinical presentation. There is no doubt that the frontline staff do all they can to assist with young patients with ASD needs, we now need to follow that up with physical infrastructure that minimises the disruption to these young children and their families."

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