Compass Assistive and Rehabilitation Technology Service at RHN
The Compass Service consists of a multi-disciplinary team of 8 people including Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists, Clinical Technologists and Technical Support Workers. The team works closely with other therapists across both the rehabilitation and residential units at the RHN, providing support for all forms of assistive and rehabilitation technologies.
Assistive technology is usually provided to an individual to compensate for a skill or ability that has been lost due to injury or illness. For example, someone who has lost the ability to speak may need a voice-output communication aid to help them express themselves and communicate with others. Compass supports people who have this type of equipment on the wards at the RHN, ensuring they can use it effectively and that it is maintained and functioning. This means that individuals can call for assistance, control their TV and chat with staff and relatives both face to face and remotely.
For over 30 years, the RHN has been involved in the innovative and creative use of technology to help our patients and residents. Compass was formed around 15 years ago to help progress this work as technology became more and more embedded in healthcare across many settings and technology became more complex. Part of our role is to be aware of the latest developments in technology to ensure our patients and residents have the latest equipment at their disposal. Technology moves on all the time, so it is essential to work with companies to help develop ways in which mainstream technologies can be more accessible and useful to people with disabilities.
Compass has always been at the forefront of using technology to enable people with profound disabilities to become more independent and able to engage in society. Initially, this was just within the RHN itself but more recently, Compass has been providing communication equipment in the wider community of West London as part of an NHS England contract. The Compass team are proud to represent the RHN in this way.
I like Compass because they are teaching me how to strengthen my right arm as well as allowing me to listen music [sic] (Antonia, patient, 2022)
I enjoy the computer room, where I can write to my friends.
(Kay, patient, 2022)
I enjoy coming to the computer room as it gives me a chance to play games on the Wii or computer and to chat with the wonderful staff and volunteers who always make me smile or giggle during the session. I have one therapy session a week where I use grip able or VR to work on my left hand whose movement is restricted. But I use my left hand for Wii also, so I am now almost as strong with my least dominant hand.
The computer room is always a fun environment where we can use the computers to play games or access social media or create cards or pictures for different festive occasions. The best thing is I can be on different festive occasions.
The best thing is I can be in a different environment and have some fun whilst improving my computer skills. The staff in the computer room are very friendly and knowledgeable and will always help if you have any problems.
(Ruth Balkansky, patient, 2022)
Click here to view more examples of our assistive and rehabilitation technologies