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Sexual Wellbeing Service

Sexual Wellbeing Service

Contact InformationTel: 01 235 5288
How to find usNRH Main Hospital
Description of Service

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The NRH Sexual Wellbeing Service is available to Inpatients and Outpatients of the hospital from all clinical Rehabilitation Programmes.

The patient, with or without their partner, is the focus of the service with support and counselling provided in relation to the impact of the illness and, or disability on their sexuality, relationship, sexual function and fertility issues.

The Sexual Wellbeing Service and Paediatric Programme are developing information leaflets for parents of children with acquired brain injury and spinal cord injury. Work is continuing to further develop educational booklets for children of different age groups.

Work with the Irish Heart Foundation has led to the development of a patient educational DVD ‘Cardiac Rehab for all’ which contains a chapter on Sex and Heart Disease.

External healthcare agencies regularly request training, workshops and presentations at their conferences. The number of patient referrals from outside the NRH has increased as awareness of the service has become more evident.

The Sexual Wellbeing Service is available to assist other health care professionals and agencies to address sexual wellbeing concerns and issues of their patients. The service can provide customised workshops and presentations.

Multidisciplinary workshops are run throughout the year to provide information and increase comfort levels of NRH Staff in raising the issues with our patients.

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Patient Information

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What is the Sexual Wellbeing Service at the NRH?
The Sexual Wellbeing service at the NRH provides an opportunity for individuals (and their partners) to discuss concerns and address issues about changes in their sexual wellbeing since their injury or diagnosis.

The sexual wellbeing service will provide information and counselling within a sensitive, supportive and confidential setting.

What is Sexual Wellbeing?
This has been described as a person’s satisfaction with the emotional and physical aspects of relationships; satisfaction with sexual functioning and the importance of sexuality in a person’s life.

What is Sexuality?
Sexuality is an important component to sexual wellbeing.

Sexuality is an integral part of us all, regardless of age, gender, health and physical ability.

Sexuality encompasses all the feelings, attitudes and behaviours that contribute to a person’s own sense of being a man or a woman.

What does the Sexual Wellbeing Service Provide?
The service provides support for patients – and their relevant other – after experiencing disability or disabling illness in their lives. This experience can often have a traumatic effect on our patients which can result in issues such as:

  • relationship difficulties
  • damage to self-esteem and body image
  • difficulty with sexual function
  • problems with fertility in some situations

In order to provide a holistic rehabilitation programme for our patients, the area of sexual wellbeing can be included in patients’ programmes if they feel ready to discuss such issues. Some patients may prefer to wait till after discharge and come back as an outpatient to attend the service.

Who is on the Sexual Wellbeing Service Team?
The service is led by Pauline Sheils, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Sexual Wellbeing. Pauline has specialised knowledge and expertise in the area of sexuality and disability, and over 30 years clinical experience.

The Rehabilitation Consultants at the NRH are also available to address any medical concerns of patients and their partners.

The NRH has a visiting Consultant Urologist whose expertise is also available to patients to answer concerns in relation to sexual function, and whose role is important in some of the fertility programmes that may need to be undertaken.

How to Access the Sexual Wellbeing Service at the NRH

  • Patients on all NRH clinical programmes are informed of the service through their clinical team and offered the opportunity to avail of the service.
  • Patients can self-refer or be referred from any member of the interdisciplinary team.
  • Any family member or friend can request an appointment.

Contact details:-
Pauline Sheils, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Sexuality and Disability
Email: Pauline.sheils@nrh.ie   Tel:  01-235 5288

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