‘Special teddy bears’ to help children with learning disabilities in hospital – Nursing Times

A specialist nurse and her colleague have introduced “special teddy bears” to help children and young patients with learning disabilities understand clinical procedures at a hospital in East Anglia.

Fiona Springall, a children and young person’s learning disability specialist nurse at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has teamed up with a colleague, to bring “Medibears” to young patients.

The bears, which are fitted with toy medical devices, are designed to help children to understand and demystify medical procedures.

The learning disability team at the trust now have five teddy bears that are fitted with devices such as hearing aids, cochlea implants, bandages and pacemakers and started using them last week.

The idea to introduce the bears came after Ms Springfield told a staff induction meeting about how she would “love” to get Medibears started at the hospital, a trust spokesman told Nursing Times.

A staff member in the induction group, Sue Phillips, then acted on this suggestion and decided to fundraise for the bears, which cost £30 each, the trust said.

To buy the bears, Ms Phillips raised £200 through a crowdfunding page, an afternoon tea and raffle.

She said: “We were hoping to fund one or two but now they have bought five and I am really pleased.”

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