Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Charity are fundraising for a Play Specialist to support our busy Paediatric Emergency Department. Accident and emergency is an intimidating, loud, scary, intrusive environment for anyone but particularly so for children. Moreover, since the COVID-19 pandemic, infection control measurements have also meant the removal of toys and play equipment from our department which was once a very welcome distraction for our children. We know from research by Starlight (2019) that play has a positive impact on our children and young people. It reduces fear, helps with pain, reduces the need for further treatment and builds future trust. A play specialist helps to bridge the gap between the patient, their family and our busy clinical teams helping to provide excellent child centred care which are paediatric patients so deserve.
Some of the benefits of having a Play Specialist include:
- Helping a child to understand their illness and why we have to do the treatments needed.
- Reducing anxiety for children who come into our department, this is particularly relevant for children who attending with mental health needs who may find clinical uniforms daunting or those with autism who may find the busy ED environment very overwhelming
- Reducing the need for sedation for diagnostics and treatments such as CT scans and providing distraction for scary procedures such as blood tests
- Making our environment as child friendly as possible, displaying artwork made and supporting infection control procedures to have as many distraction items as possible
Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Charity need to raise £35,000 to support this incredible role and we need your support! Please contact email@example.com for further information.