Concern for elderly patients crossing the road in Castleford have resulted in the local council responding to a request for warning signs to alert motorists.

Dave Robson, senior staff nurse at Saville Park View House, Castleford and Normanton District Hospital, contacted the Transport department to ask if they would consider putting up some signs, as he was concerned about elderly patients crossing the road.

Within 2 months of his initial call to the council the ‘elderly crossing’ signs went up on busy Lumley Street, as well as road markings that forewarn motorists of the crossing. Dave, who works for the South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust, also contacted the works manager at the hospital who agreed to signs being put up within the hospital grounds surrounding Saville Park View House.

Saville Park View House is a community rehabilitation unit that deals with elderly residents who have been in an institution for a long time. The request for the signs was part of an initiative being run at the Unit, which aims to identify clients that have poor road safety sense. There are currently 16 clients at the unit and around 50% of them often go out, which necessitates road-crossing skills.

Helen Tyler, who is occupational therapist for rehabilitation services, developed an assessment tool along with Dave, to see where patients’ deficits lie; it includes observing patients as they cross the road, and filling in a form which is based around the Green Cross Code. Staff are continuing these assessments and will then develop a plan to deliver successful outcomes.

Speaking about the new road signs, Dave Robson said, ‘I am delighted with the quick response we got from the council, it clearly shows that they are working in partnership with us and are taking the needs of our elderly patients very seriously. Several staff members at the hospital have expressed concern for our elderly patients crossing this busy road and we are all extremely heartened by the council’s response. We will continue our work with our patients to ensure they are safe when crossing roads’.


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