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UHNM and Combined Healthcare begin use of virtual reality headsets for delirium training

World Delirium Awareness Day – UHNM and Combined Healthcare team up to deliver innovative virtual reality training

UHNM is working in partnership with Combined Healthcare to launch an innovative new virtual reality training tool. The tool forms part of a number of combined virtual reality products being pioneered within local healthcare settings and will help frontline staff to increase their understanding and empathy towards those with delirium.

Staff will be able to see what the patient sees, hear what they’re thinking and experience some aspects of what delirium can cause them to see.   The content of the training programme is based on real experiences of patients with delirium and includes delusions that staff are conspiring to poison the patient, that the building is under attack and that air raid sirens are going off.

Frontline staff across UHNM will have the opportunity today to try out the film on Oculus headsets and to discuss what they experience with mental health and older person clinical leads from Combined Healthcare and UHNM.

Kirsty Smith, Matron for Mental Health and Learning Disability at UHNM, said: “We are delighted to work in partnership with Combined Healthcare NHS Trust and have the opportunity to train our staff at UHNM with such a fantastic state-of-the-art digital tool. Anything which puts staff in our patient’s shoes to improve their experience, especially if they are suffering the effects of delirium can only be a positive for patient care.”

The delirium training video is the first step in Combined Healthcare’s vision for use of virtual reality and the Trust will be bringing forward other initiatives over the coming months.

Welcoming the joint initiative, Combined’s Interim Chief Executive, Dr Buki Adeyemo said: “As an older person’s clinician, as well as a strong advocate for the adoption and spread of new digital tools and technologies, this is a perfect example of how we can marry clinical insight and knowledge with innovation and imagination.  Congratulations to everyone from across both Trusts involved in delivering this amazing outcome.”

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