A keen knitter has answered a call from Cardiff & Vale University Health Board and now her creations are going to help field hospital and care home patients who are feeling anxious during this worrying time.
Wales & West Utilities Susan Entwistle has been knitting twiddle mitts, which have historically been used by dementia patients to provide visual, tactile and sensory stimulation, for many years but now her creations are being used to support patients who are feeling anxious.
Susan, a Customer Satisfaction Project Coordinator for gas emergency and pipeline service, explains:
“Twiddle mitts keep people’s hands occupied and as well as helping dementia patients, they are now being used in Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, which has been turned into a 2,000-bed field hospital – the Dragon’s Heart Hospital.
“They can really help lower stress and anxiety by providing sensory stimulation and have proven to lower the need for sedative medication and reduce the health risks associated with pulling out cannulas and drips.”
Susan, who has been knitting for many years, has made over 520 twiddle mitts, the majority of which have been donated directly to Cardiff & Vale University Health Board. Over the years Wales & West Utilities colleagues have donated wool to make the hand warmers, which are decorated with different objects of all different shapes and sizes, textures and colours.
“I’m delighted to support the Health Board and it’s fantastic that the twiddle mitts are helping people during this worrying time.
“Being in hospital or a care home environment can make people feel anxious and these creations are working to calm and lower the anxiety people may be feeling. I am delighted to play a small part in helping.”
Angela Hughes, Assistant Director of Patient Experience at Cardiff & Vale University Health Board said:
“The twiddle mitts are loved by patients, they help to settle and comfort them in changing environments. All twiddle mitts are individualised and are given to the patient who can take them home. The kindness of Susan is really appreciated and her fantastic knitting skills are evident in the quality of the mitts”
During the Covid19 pandemic, Wales & West Utilities is focused on keeping the energy flowing to homes, businesses and essential services across Wales and south west England.
Sarah Hopkins, Wales & West Utilities People & Engagement Director said:
“Susan has been working for many years to knit twiddle mitts for dementia patients across the Cardiff area and we are proud that now her creations are helping others during this stressful time.
“As a company, we are urging people who have received a letter from the NHS advising them to take additional measures to ‘shield’ themselves from Covid19 to consider joining the Priority Service Register (PSR).
“By joining it allows us, and other energy and utility companies, to look after people who need extra support. Joining is simple and free and more information can be found at wwutilities.co.uk/priority.
“We’d also like to remind people that if they do smell gas, to call 0800 111 999 as normal. You’ll be asked a few additional questions, including if you have symptoms of Covid19. We’ll still come and help you, but our teams will take some additional precautions to keep everyone safe.”