Facilities 10 September 2020

A place for parents: transforming the parents’ room on Toni & Guy ward

Parents and carers of very sick children on Toni & Guy ward at King's now have their own space to meet, eat, talk and unwind, thanks to a charitable grant designed to support the creation of parent and carer rooms in hospitals.
Aisha, sitting on a sofa with a nurse in the refurbished Toni & Guy parent's room. They are both wearing masks, and smiling in conversation.

Parents and carers play a vital role in their child’s care, a role which can often be overlooked. "We know how important it is for parents to be able to talk about their experiences of having a child in hospital, and know that talking to each other can provide valuable support and reassurance," says Toni & Guy Ward Manager, Kevin Farrell.

"Up until recently, we did not have a suitable space for this to happen."
Kevin Farrell, Toni & Guy Ward Manager

Toni & Guy is a 15-bed ward situated in the Variety Children's Hospital at King's specialising in caring for children with cancer, respiratory and blood conditions. Ward staff recently asked parents what they needed most to help them cope with the stresses of caring for a sick child, often far away from the rest of the family for weeks or months on end. Using the feedback, the staff devised a plan to transform the existing space into a tranquil 'home from home'.  

King's College Hospital Charity successfully applied to the philanthropic True Colours Trust on behalf of the ward, helping them to secure a £19,735 grant from the charity's Breathing Spaces fund. The Fund was developed in response to parents’ requests for better facilities in hospitals, helping to make families' experiences in hospital more bearable, and creating a space where parents and carers can connect and develop friendships. 

The refurbished room now features comfortable seating, dimmable lights, phone and tablet charging points, a TV, plants, and a small kitchen and dining area. And, thanks to new funding, even more improvements are on the way for the ward itself, with new bedside furniture and refurbished shower rooms and toilets in the works. 

"The parents room is a lovely addition to the ward. It’s a quiet place to go to relax and gather thoughts, without being too far away from our children. It's a great improvement!"
Gemma White, parent
The brand-new Wellbeing Hub. The walls are a calming sage green and the carpet is a calming grey. There are twin chairs in a rich purple in the far left hand corner. In the near left corner there is a round, white table with three sage green soft chairs. There are two lava lamps in the back, as well as some more purple chairs to the right. There are calming pictures framed on the wall.

The Wellbeing Hub: a sanctuary away from the wards

Thanks to supporters who gave so generously to our first emergency Hospital Heroes Appeal in 2020, we were able to set up a temporary Wellbeing Hub for exhausted staff in King’s College Hospital during the pandemic. With further funding, we have now been able to ensure that the Hub is a permanent fixture.