Communications boxes pilot is launched

Published/updated: 23/11/17 09:48

Matron, Helen Seymour with nurse, Philip Shiji

People that experience difficulty communicating can find visiting hospital stressful, and with this in mind Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust have launched a special “communications box” to help patients explain their needs, where an interpreter is unavailable.

Funded by the Trust’s official charity, the boxes have been available across elderly care wards at Good Hope, Heartlands and Solihull Hospital from the beginning of November as part of the three month pilot.

The boxes will include a hospital communication book, which has information about how to support people who have difficulty communicating, with pictures that give people choices, explain what is going to happen and help them to communicate with hospital staff and family members. The box also contains hearing aid batteries, a magnifying glass, pen and notepad, and a hand-held communicator.

Helen Seymour, matron for elderly care at Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust said: “We have patients from a wide variety of backgrounds and with a wide range of needs. The elderly in particular can have complex needs and find the hospital environment particularly stressful if they have difficulty communicating how they are feeling, such as letting staff know when they are in pain. This will also be a helpful resource for staff to explain a procedure to a patient.

“These boxes are an excellent way of breaking down communication barriers in care especially when patients find themselves without an interpreter and need to contact staff for anything, whether that’s for medication, a drink or to discuss their care. We are grateful to the Charity for funding these boxes and are optimistic they will be of enormous benefit.”

For more information about how you can support patients being treated at Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, please call the Trust Charity on 0121 371 4852, at or by visiting

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