A BRAND new environment has been created at Northfield’s Royal Orthopaedic Hospital (ROH) specifically to meet the needs of children and young people who are attending appointments.
The new Children and Young People’s Outpatients Department, located in the main Outpatients area, offers an interactive space for young patients and their families.
Patients up to the age of 17 were previously seen on a ward not specifically designed as an outpatient facility.
The theme for the department is ‘under the sea’.
Wall art flows from the waiting area through to consultation rooms and the relaxation room to help create a familiar environment for patients and visitors. The wall art offers a distraction to both patients and any accompanying young people, such as siblings, when undergoing consultation.
Entertainment units featuring interactive games for patients up to 17 offers a more inclusive, ‘clutter- free’ environment.
Previously, only physical games were available for younger patients and, because of Covid-19 and the infection risks associated with it, even these have been unavailable for the past year.
A renewed sensory facility has also been installed in the department.
The reflection room is a new addition and something the Trust has rolled out previously within its adult services.
This is a space where patients and families can sit and reflect upon an appointment, a calming space to receive bad news and can also be used as a safe space for any issues to be discussed with staff. This space also frees up consultation rooms for more appointments.
Consultation rooms are also nearly double the size of the previous department meaning there is more space for thorough consultations and space for families to enter which is often when parents need to bring siblings along with them.
The refurbishment has been funded by an appeal from The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital Charity, which exists to support NHS patients, their families and carers, as well as provide specialist training, equipment and knowledge to ROH staff.
It was designed by Grosvenor Interiors, specialists in hospital environmental enhancements.
Colin Horn, Managing Director of Grosvenor Interiors, said: “I lost my son to leukaemia some years ago and after many years of hospital visits I know how important the environment in children’s wards can be.
“Children’s spaces in hospitals are often very busy and frantic and part of our aim is to calm the spaces down so that the children and their parents are less stressed and can engage with the imaging to take their minds of why they are there.”
Monica Allen, CYPOPD Manager, said: “Our new Children and Young People’s Outpatients Department is vibrant and welcoming and our patients will be attending an area designed to try and ensure they have a relaxed experience in the hospital.
“We have been able to provide a multi-use area for quiet reflection and a sensory room with designated interactive equipment to assist with distraction therapy.”
Clare Hinwood, Transition to Adult Services Clinical Nurse Specialist, added: “It will benefit hugely those young people who will be transitioning into adult services. Because of its location in the Outpatients Department, it will enable them to become more familiar with the adult environment.
“The reflection room will also provide a location for discussing their transition plan.”
Ali Gray, Charity Manager, said: “The ROH Charity is overjoyed to support this incredible project, giving young patients and families a truly enhanced hospital experience.
“Our charity supports the hospital with projects that are ‘above and beyond’ what the NHS can afford, making a real difference to those who visit us. Patients and families have been thought about through every step and we are so pleased with the result.”
For more information on The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital Charity, visit www.rohcharity.org