Press release: Young patients set to celebrate 'everyday heroes' during fun-filled week

 Play team 2017

Young patients at Southampton Children’s Hospital are set to celebrate their ‘everyday heroes’ during a fun-filled week of activities from Monday (8 October).

Whether it is mum or dad, a brother or sister, a teacher or their favourite member of staff, patients will spend time drawing, writing stories, discussing and making props that resemble the people they look up to.

The initiative forms part of National Play in Hospital Week, which is organised by the National Association of Health Play Specialists (NAHPS) and supported by charity Starlight Children’s Foundation.

Among the other events planned are sensory activities including interactive games and visual stimulation exercises, arts and crafts and an opportunity for patients and parents to find out more about the work of the healthcare play team.

The team will raise awareness of the value of play for young people and give an insight into the preparation and distraction items used to soften the hospital experience, including the novel debilitating fears clinic.

Lego MRI abovePlay specialists work closely with University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust’s clinicians and other staff to help children and young people cope with illness, to understand why they are in hospital and assist clinicians in assessment and diagnosis.

Fiona Delement, healthcare play specialist, said: “National Play in Hospital Week is always a great way to raise awareness and highlight the positive impact that play can have on young patients.

“Research has demonstrated the importance of play in hospital, both in preparing children for treatment and providing ways for them to work through anxieties and fears and deal with their experiences.

“This year will be particularly enjoyable as we will get the chance to hear children talk about the everyday people in their lives who make a real difference to them and tie that in with some fun activities.”

Dr Hilary Cass, patron of NAHPS, said: “This continues to be an important week in hospital calendars as it provides staff the opportunity to mark and celebrate the importance of their work and the impact that play and distraction brings in the treatment of poorly children and young people.”

The week will also highlight the role of Southampton Children’s Hospital Charity – part of Southampton Hospital Charity – in supporting the play team through funding craft packs and other entertainment equipment across the wards.

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Posted on Friday 5 October 2018