Tallaght University Hospital Launches Video to Educate Staff on Needs of Autistic Patients

Austim Video LaunchDecember 9th 2019: Tallaght University Hospital (TUH) is today launching a new educational video on autism at the Hospital. Produced in conjunction with AsIAm, the video provides evidence based knowledge about autism for healthcare professionals interacting with autistic children and adults in an acute hospital setting.

Autistic patients attending the adult and children’s services at TUH will now benefit from improved accommodation of their specific needs, a more knowledgeable workforce and a calmer hospital experience.

Sharon Larkin, HR Lead TUH said: “At Tallaght University Hospital we want to have a reputation for excellence in caring for autistic patients in the acute care setting. The Hospital has already adapted the environment in some of our outpatient areas, children’s ED and radiology departments. This video will be an excellent tool for our staff in increasing and developing their knowledge in this area.”

Adam Harris, Founder and Chief Executive of AsIAm said: “We were delighted to partner with TUH in developing this video as a more knowledgeable workforce will lead to much better experiences for autistic patients. I’m delighted the video will also be hosted on the HSE’s online learning and development portal so it should also assist staff in other hospitals and healthcare settings around the country.”

Nurse Tutor in the Centre for Learning & Development Geraldine Kyle said: “I was delighted to lead this initiative for TUH. As a parent of an autistic child, I have experience of health services from both sides and I really wanted to bring the learning experience into the acute hospital setting. The benefits of this video will be huge and I hope healthcare professionals can take the time out to learn from it so children and adults can benefit from the learnings it contains.”

Contributors to the video include:

-        Adam Harris, founder and CEO of AsIAm.ie
-        Representatives of AsIAm.ie
-        Dr. Aine Connolly, Senior Clinical Neuro Psychologist, Stroke Services, TUH & Naas General Hospital
-        Dr Joanne Balfe, Consultant Paediatrician CHI (Complex needs & Neurodisability)
-        Prof Louise Gallagher, Professor Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Trinity Institute of Neurosciences
-        Stephanie Kelly, Community Child Health Liaison Nurse (Autism) CHI at Tallaght

The video was produced with the support of TUH and the Nursing and Midwifery Planning and Development Unit in the HSE.

The Hospital also launched an ‘Art, Awareness and Autism’ Art Exhibition on Hospital Street which will run until March of next year. The artists’ work is highly creative, diverse in theme, art medium and format with many of the artists expressing a sense that is unique to them and their experience of autism through their artwork. The exhibition highlights the creative skills of the artists’ involved, is inclusive and encourages an awareness and understanding of Autism through art for our Patients, Staff and visitors to TUH. 

Notes to Editor:
The video is 40 minutes long and is available to healthcare professionals through HSELand (the health service’s online development portal). You can watch a brief section of the video via this link

About Tallaght University Hospital
TUH is one of Ireland’s largest acute teaching hospitals, adult, psychiatric and age-related healthcare on one site. The Hospital has 495 adult beds with 3,000 people on staff. The Hospital is a provider of local, regional and national specialties. It is also a national urology centre, the second largest provider of dialysis services in the country and a regional orthopaedic trauma centre. The Hospital also has 67 paediatric beds under the governance of Children’s Health Ireland and 52 mental health beds under HSE governance. 

TUH is one of the two main teaching hospitals of Trinity College Dublin - specialising in the training and professional development of staff in areas such as nursing, health and social care professionals, emergency medicine and surgery, amongst many others. TUH is part of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group which serves a population of over 1.2 million across seven counties. 

A new satellite centre is to be built at TUH as part of the National Children’s Hospital project as a key element of an integrated clinical network for paediatric services nationally. The Hospital’s Emergency Departments catered for 51,084 Adult Attendance and 32,424 Paediatric Attendance in 2018. A further 293,751 patients were treated through the Hospital’s Adult and Paediatric outpatient clinics in 2018. The Hospital’s operations are supported by 200 general practitioners in surrounding communities and aligned with CHO7.