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Play Team

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

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