The Alex makes provision for parents/carers/guardians who would like to stay close to their children overnight. The majority of inpatient beds for children and young people within the Alex have beds for parents to rest or sleep on next to their child.
If you have a problem which you feel hasn’t been resolved by the nursing team or department manager caring for your child then you can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 01273 696955, extension 4029/4588.
Alternatively you can write down your views – good or bad – on a comment card which can be found on the PALS notice board by the main reception of the Alex on level 5.
The PALS service is available in all NHS Trusts and is a key part of public and patient involvement in the health service. PALS officers are a focal point for feedback from patients and their relatives and carers.
The PALS team can:
- listen confidentially to any problems, concerns or suggestions you have about care or treatment
- advise and support you and your child
- give you information about NHS and health related services
- help sort out problems quickly on your behalf.
They will try to resolve issues quickly, however if necessary, they will explain the formal NHS complaints procedure and put you in touch with the right people to take your complaint forwards.
Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust chaplaincy service can be contacted on telephone number 01273 696955 ext 4122 or you can ask your child’s nurse for further information about the service or for a Chaplaincy leaflet. If you have an urgent need to see a chaplain, the nursing staff can arrange for the on-call chaplain to be called day or night.
The chaplains can provide spiritual and emotional support for parents, carers or guardians and children and young people of all faiths, as well as those who do not have a particular religious belief but would like someone to talk to.
The chaplaincy service is based in the main Royal Sussex County Hospital.
The chaplains have contact with many different faith communities, including Jewish and Muslim in the Brighton area. Representatives from these faiths can be contacted in response to individual patient, parent, carer or guardian requests.
On Level 6 of the Alex is the Oasis which is an area that offers a quiet retreat for reflection, prayer and relaxation at any time of the day or night for parents, carers, guardians and families. There are a variety of books, leaflets and religious items to support visitors to the room. The Oasis room is furnished with carved oak benches, and has a selection of prayer books and religious resources from different faiths, such as rosary beads and foot washing facilities. The chaplaincy team provides guided meditation and relaxation sessions in the Oasis on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.
There is also a Victorian chapel on the first floor of the Barry Building located in the Royal Sussex County Hospital, which is open to everyone day and night. On the same floor towards the front of the building is a dedicated Muslin Prayer Room.
Sunday communion at 10am
Friday prayers at 1.15pm. Muslin Prayer Room, 1st Floor, Barry Building
The hospital teaching service is part of Brighton and Hove City Council’s educational services and is organised from the schoolroom on Level 8 of the Alex. The service is supported by a part-time teacher and a part-time teaching assistant who provide lessons and learning materials from across the national curriculum.
The aim of the teaching service is to provide educational opportunities for children and young people who are hospitalised and unable to attend school in order to:
- Stimulate and maintain an interest in learning
- Provide continuity of education
- Restore the process of learning
- Aid recuperation
Which children receive education in hospital?
The teachers prioritise their time so that children and young people get as much support as possible provided they are well enough to be taught. This can either be at the bedside or in the schoolroom on level 8 of the Alex.
Whilst the children are provided with learning opportunities across the national curriculum at KS1 and KS2, the teaching staff focuses on literacy and numeracy. At higher key stages, the teaching staff will, where appropriate, contact the child’s or young person’s school to discuss options and obtain coursework from across the curriculum to enable learning to continue at the correct level whilst he/she is in hospital.
The hospital teaching service has an excellent range of ICT resources. Furthermore, children and young people can use the schoolroom facilities on level 8 of the Alex to access the internet via the schools internet network.
Hospital Teaching Service
Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital
Telephone contact number is 01273 696955 extension 2560 or 2561.
Hours of service:
During school term time – Monday and Wednesday from 1.30pm to 4.30pm and Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9.00am to 12.00 midday.
The hospital play team at The Alex consists of qualified Hospital Play Specialists that help children/young people to have a more positive experience in hospital.
Who’s in the team?
- Katy Weaver – Level 7 Day Case
- Kate Woodhams and Vicky Barnes – Level 8 HDU & Surgical ward
- Gayle Mulley – Level 9 Oncology & Medical ward
- Amy Farmer – Children’s Emergency Department
Monday – Friday 7.30am – 5pm
As integral members of the multi-disciplinary team, the play staff can provide both normal and specialist/therapeutic play opportunities for children/young people of all ages in hospital, individually or in groups.
How can we help?
- Act as the child/young persons advocate
- Prepare patients for procedures such as blood tests using books, role play and medical equipment to ensure they are informed and involved in an age appropriate manner
- Distraction therapy (using carefully chosen tools such as books, bubbles during a medical procedure to help focus the child on something else)
- Post procedural play (to help patients to evaluate and cope with experiences)
- Aid compliance
- Provide directed play to achieve and maintain developmental goals whilst in hospital through assessment and the use of Play Programmes
- Sensory play
- Provide normal play to relieve boredom and provide a sense of normality
- Create a child-friendly environment
- Use therapeutic play to help patients cope with hospital experiences and allow them to express emotions in a safe way
- Offer support for the whole family
- Teach and help patients to master coping techniques
- Relaxation and Guided Imagery
- Contribute to clinical judgements through play-based observations
- Teach the value of play for the sick child
Why is it important to prepare a child/young person for a hospital procedure?
- To help them understand his/her illness or procedure in an age-appropriate way
- To correct any misconceptions or fantasies
- To reduce short/long term effects of a hospital admission
- To improve the patients ability to cope with treatment
- To give the opportunity to express feelings (i.e. anxiety, fear)
- To promote and encourage trust in hospital staff
- To enable informed consent
- To speed recovery
So if your child is particularly worried or anxious about a hospital visit or procedure please contact the play team on 01273 696955 ext 2509
We also organise events such as toy sales and Christmas parties, please check our events page regularly for details of these.