Improving the hospital environment
Spending time in hospital can be distressing and frightening for children. Away from their familiar home and school environment they can feel lonely and scared. Making the hospital less daunting for children and their families is a key part of the TLC Appeal.
We are investing in the Rays of Sunshine children's liver ward at King's, making it a less intimidating and more stimulating environment by:
- Installing new 'smart' lighting panels above every bed to mimic daylight and create a vivid scene with sky, clouds and sunshine. These panels will instantly transform the ward and bring the outdoors in for children who may not have left the hospital for weeks.
- Revamping the playroom and investing in new, age-appropriate play equipment such as interactive games, traditional toys and stimulating sensory equipment. The team of qualified Health Play Specialists use play as a therepeutic tool to help children understand their illness and treatment, prepare them for hospital procedures, and deal with fears and anxieties.
- Funding regular parties and events, such as visits by children's entertainers to stae of isolation and bordeom, lift the children's spirits, encourage social interaction with one another, give them something to look forward to, and simply enable them to enjoy the things that all children enjoy.
- Refurbishing the parents' room to create a space where familes can get some respite but still be close to the their child. Having a non-clinical space to do something as simple as making a cup of tea and meeting other parents can help reduce feelings of isolation, and make a huge difference to ongoing resilience.
Seven year old Jessie is living with liver and bowel failure, and was recently back at King’s for another surgery while he awaits a transplant.
As part of the TLC Appeal, our friends at the Rotary Club of Sidcup have funded this fantastic electric car for the children's liver ward, where children like Jessie can spend weeks or even months at a time. It's the little things like this that can help to reduce anxiety in children facing scary procedures, and bring an element of fun to the ward.