A new facility solely for the care of children has opened in Poole Hospital’s emergency department, designed by pupils from a local school.
The new standalone children’s area allows more focused care to be given to younger patients, as well as having a ‘worry tree’ where children can leave any concerns they might have during their visit on the ‘branches’.
The area also has three assessment trolleys, a seated area as well as a TV, donated books and toys to help make any urgent hospital visit for families as comfortable as possible.
A wide age-range of pupils from Longfleet Road School, together with their teacher, attended today’s opening (6 March) after previously deciding on the colour-scheme and decorations for the space. They had a chance to tour the facility, as well as having a fun and informative exercise with one of the nurses, where they were shown how to put a ‘broken arm’ plaster cast on one of their teachers.
Longfleet School pupil Sanbra, age 7, was one of the children who came to visit. “It’s amazing,” she said.
“I feel at home and I like the drawings and having books here was my idea.”
George, age 9, was another student at the opening. “My idea was to put a pattern of stars on the ceiling so patients can see them when they’re lying down at night.”
Another of the children was Imogen aged 11, who helped design the worry tree. “The colours are really nice and there’s a lot of nice paintings,” she said.
Bruce Hopkins, matron for the emergency department & urgent care said, “This is a really exciting development.
“I hope the area will improve the experience for children attending the department and will show our ongoing commitment to improving services for all our patients.”
Patients will be assessed by three new children’s nurses and the facility will help overall patient flow through the hospital as well as standardising emergency procedures for children.
The area was designed following guidance from the Care Quality Commission and NHS Improvement.
It has been supported with toys donated by staff, relatives and volunteers as well as the Poole-branch of Mothercare. In addition, there has also been welcome financial support from the Co-operative Fund.