Making surgery child’s play 

30/11/2011 00:00 

Walking to theatres can be a daunting experience, particularly if you’re a child: the ground looks closer, the corridors longer and the journey seems endless.
But not at UCH.  New and enchanting floor tiles of London landmarks are helping to distract young patients en route to the paediatric anaesthetic room.

A young hospital visitor admires the art with Mimi Petty, theatres play specialist

Whether it’s chatting about Buckingham Palace, jumping onto the picture tiles like hopscotch or identifying the tourist attractions – the tiles are helping ease anxiety.

Cathy Beaton, divisional senior nurse for theatres and anaesthetics, said: “It has made the walk to theatres an adventure. I have seen children arrive at the anaesthetic room door relaxed and happy."
Therese Parker, general manager for theatres, invited the play services manager Irene O’Donnell and her team to make proposals to improve the environment to make it more child-friendly. The project was funded by The League of Friends.
Irene said: “Something was needed to get children talking and playing but keep them moving and the team developed this idea. If a child can start chatting to you about the day he went to the Tower of London or rode in a London taxi, then he isn’t getting worried about what might happen next.”


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