What we do
The hospital play team consists of qualified hospital play specialists who help children and young people to have a more positive experience in hospital.
As integral members of the multi-disciplinary team, the play staff can provide both normal and specialist/therapeutic play opportunities for children and young people of all ages in hospital, individually or in groups.
We also organise events, such as stay and play drop-ins, toy sales and Christmas parties. Find out more in the events calendar.
How can we help?
- Act as the child or young person’s 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
If your child is particularly worried or anxious about a hospital visit or procedure please contact the play team on:
- 01273 696955 ext 2509, Monday to Friday, 7.30am – 5pm