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  • Writer's pictureGerry Monaghan

Just A Minute system first for St James's Hospital

A group of people standing in front of the JAM Card at St James Hospital in Dublin
Ms Aisling Collins, Chief Operations Officer, St James’s Hospital. Mr Alan Brogan former Dublin GAA Team Captain. Dr Ailin O’Dea, Clinical Psychologist & Chairperson of St James’s Hospital Additional Needs Working Group. Ms Hilary Coates, St James’s Hospital Board member & Chairperson of Quality Safety & Risk Committee. Meave Monaghan, Ms Maria Kane, Quality Manager & Person Centred Care Lead, St James’s Hospital.

St James's Hospital has become the first Dublin Academic Teaching Hospital to be JAM Card Friendly. Jam Card is available as a card or app, which helps people with hidden disabilities, or communication barriers explain that they require additional time, or Just A Minute, before communicating.

A visit to hospital can be incredibly intimidating and an anxiety inducing environment for all patients so for those with hidden disabilities, this can be exacerbated. St James's has decided to introduce the Jam Card to the hospital to help make communicating easier for those who may require extra time when communicating with hospital staff.

The card was originally developed by and for those with learning difficulties and disabilities but has now expanded to include anyone with a hidden disability, communication barrier or health condition.

If someone shows their JAM Card or app, it tells health care providers that the individual requires extra assistance, and some time to achieve what they have set out to do.

All staff at the hospital will be fully trained and know how to respond appropriately to people who show their JAM Card and that will ensure that all those who visit can have a comfortable and pleasant experience at St James's Hospital.

Aisling Collins, Interim Chief Operations Officer, says: 'At St James's Hospital we continually strive to make the hospital as accessible and as welcoming to patients as we can, whatever their needs. Put simply, we want to make the hospital a great place to be patient.

'Improving the experience of those who visit the hospital is essential to improving communication between clinicians, patients and service users. I'm delighted to officially launch the JAM Card in the hospital, creating an even more inclusive and conscious environment than before’.

Alan Brogan, former Dublin footballer, who joined the hospital for the official launch, says that it is important to ensure that all healthcare settings are inclusive. 'Like in any team-sports or community dynamic, we need to create environments where all players and members are able to communicate effectively and comfortably.

'Initiatives like this are so important for healthcare settings, and as one of the largest hospitals in Ireland, I'm sure the patients and service users of the hospital will find huge benefit in knowing that staff are there to support and facilitate their needs.’

The roll out will also include staff who may have disabilities too. Diane Hill of Jam Card says: ‘Ensuring that hospital care is accessible to all patients is vital. We are delighted that St James's Hospital has partnered with NOW Group to deliver on JAM Card, which will support the hospital and accommodating spaces to be inclusive for all patients and staff with autism, intellectual disabilities, and neurodiverse conditions.’

To learn more about the JAM Card initiative, visit



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