IMHA Client C

Client C was unable to speak due to physical health issues. C felt disempowered. C felt decisions about care were being made without their involvement as communication was problematic.

Barriers faced in being heard:

C was unable to communicate verbally. C had lost the use of their right arm (C was right handed). C was using a sheet of laminated paper with the alphabet printed on it.

C would spell out words by pointing letter by letter. This was laborious and time consuming, and was tiring for C.

It was often difficult for others to follow and to fully understand what C was trying to get across.

Advocacy undertaken:

  • The IMHA visited C and established the issue was one of communication and not a lack of capacity.
  • The IMHA visited C on several occasions with the help of another IMHA, who is skilled in lip reading (C was able to mouth words but was unable to vocalise). The IMHAs also used a tablet device, which C could use to spell out complete sentences, using their left hand.
  • The IMHAs afforded time and joint working with specialist skills, in order to gain C’s views on their care and treatment.
  • C felt that staff on the ward were very busy and did not always have the time needed to fully communicate. The IMHAs were able to facilitate this.

Outcomes:

C was able to have a greater say in decisions regarding their treatment in hospital and the ‘move on’ options from hospital.

C felt better able to get views and wishes across to the ward staff who were caring for them.

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