The experience of sourcing and costing a sensory room for people with learning difficulties, physical and sensory impairments, autism and mental health needs is a tall order. Deciding on equipment is a minefield, do we need bubble tubes? Yes. Do we need soft furnishings? Yes. Do we need seating and bean bags? yes. Will it be safe? The ultimate question. When I was discussing a new service with the Jayne, the Responsible Individual, the sensory room was high on the wish list. What shall we buy? How much will it cost? What about people with autism, physical needs, sensory needs? Jayne and I are both from a nursing background in the learning disability field we had both worked with ROMPA® products before so after a look at the catalogue and seeing a plethora of equipment we were both undecided about the amount of equipment we would need to fill the space we had.
We phoned ROMPA® and arranged a meeting where we could look and try the equipment and experience what our service users would. We were greeted by friendly knowledgeable staff who showed off their equipment. What a truly fantastic experience it was, we were introduced to Sensory Magic. The company showed off and championed this equipment – and why not it is truly a magical piece of kit. I can remember coming out of the experience “buzzing” and daring to ask if we could afford this unique, quality piece of kit. After negotiations with the Directors we were told to look into the next steps of costing and measuring up. The ROMPA® team came up to our house whilst it was being built, took specifications, liaised with the building team and developed a blue print of the sensory room along with a 3D drawing of what it would look like when it was completed. The 3D picture was stuck on the door of the sensory room and whilst commissioning I explained to people who were interested in placing service users with us that “this is what it will look like when it’s finished”
When the electrics and the tracking and hoists were in place the technical team from ROMPA® came and fitted all the equipment we had asked for, stayed and showed us how to use it and gave us the confidence to work with the system utilising it to the max. For the first week or so the room got used at every opportunity and I introduced it to other Managers who I work alongside – I thought that maybe there would be a decline in it’s use after the initial novelty period. How wrong I was! Other homes started to book time in to use it and we started to have events where we could use the sensory room for multiple uses for multiple service users.
The upshot of this is that we have a quality piece of equipment that has multiple uses, is safe, is suitable for many different service users, is adaptable, can be upgraded, has a technical support that is second to none (they can even solve problems from their base in Chesterfield whilst we are in Wakefield).
The feedback we have received is of admiration of the room and it’s equipment, not solely from the people who use it but from the support workers, families of service users, commissioners, people who come to do training at the service and the people who regulate us the C.Q.C. However, the feedback doesn’t just equate to people telling us what they think of the room, they keep coming back!