Not only do patients and their families struggle with the loss of facial expressions/lip movements or the muffling affects of talking through masks or hoods – so do staff. Some ambulance staff are experiencing concern over missing information because of their own hearing or are concerned they may have to deliver sensitive news to patients or their families through layers of protective equipment.
South East Coastal Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust is spending time looking at the safety of potential solutions including amplify microphones and communication aids – as well as looking how staff can overcome communication issues by adapting their behaviours.
We are sure people don’t want ambulance crews putting themselves at risk by not wearing PPE at the moment. Please share your thoughts on this and what would make a difference to you if you’ve struggled with communicating.
Finally, this seems a great opportunity for local students and engineers to get involved – we’ve seen some really affordable solutions arising out of this crisis – is this another area for innovation?