WREXHAM Maelor Hospital’s Children’s Service is the first NHS organisation to be granted Makaton Friendly status in Wales.

Over 20 staff in the hospital have been trained so far including nurses, doctors and staff that work out in the community.

Makaton is a simplified system of sign language which aids those who have communication difficulties.

Staff at the hospital have been undertaking training and also creating resources and new signage for the departments.

Emma Cunnah Newall, play specialist in Wrexham Maelor Hospital who organises the training said: “Children who use Makaton can have a wide variety of additional needs from learning difficulties to speech difficulties.

“Particularly in children’s outpatients, we have lots of patients communicating using Makaton and so we thought it was really important to train our staff so we can provide an excellent service.

“Makaton really helps with communication and puts children at ease if they are coming in for a procedure. Having medical treatment can be frightening and even more so if you can’t

communicate how you are feeling. If our staff can communicate with children then it really helps treatment go smoothly.

“We are constantly looking to improve the service in the hospital and we wanted to achieve the status as Makaton is a common system that children use to communicate at home and in schools.”

“We are absolutely delighted with our accreditation as it reflects everyone’s hard work and willingness to learn.”