A young child called Noah who is diagnosed with non-verbal autism suffered an extremely bad fall at home and attended A&E at Lincoln County Hospital.
On arrival at the hospital he was unable to process the setting and the new faces surrounding him. He was very anxious. The parents were concerned about the child self-harming.
The nursing team placed him into a side room with his parents to try and calm him. He was offered RITA as a means of intervention whilst the family waited 2 hours for a surgeon to assess the child’s face.
His mum, explained that it was the first time EVER that her child had sat upon her knee for any length of time, remaining engaged as he began to touch the screen. His eyes were everywhere, taking everything in on the RITA screen.
His body became calm and still. He relaxed and you were able to see the release of tension from his body. He played with Bubble Spin. Every time it made a noise, he would clap with excitement, taking his Mum’s hand to touch the screen in pure joy. Noah’s Mum commented:
“Being able to calm our child in this way helped both myself and my husband stay calm and reduce our anxiety in with this situation, a very worrying time for any parent.
Our son was admitted onto the children’s Rainforest Ward and I asked if he could use this on the ward. But unfortunately, it wasn’t allowed as it could not be signed off the current ward. There is clearly a greater need for this technology across the hospital and not just in A&E Departments. The power of RITA was positive on so many levels.
The suppliers of RITA have agreed to donate a tablet to Noah to further support him, but also because his much-needed therapy sessions have stopped due to Covid. I know this will mean the world to him. Thank you so much”.
Noah's mum also advised our team that RITA has supported him whilst his normal therapy sessions had ceased due to COVID.
Jennie Negus Deputy Chief Nurse at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust commented:
"Bringing RITA to ULHT was one of my finest moves and it’s great that she is still being used and used well. RITA has been hugely welcomed across our hospitals; she is a very valuable member of our team on many of our wards. We are actively exploring whether we can have more particularly within children's services - a legacy from Noah's experience."