Play in Hospital Week – what’s it all about?

Play in Hospital WeekHere at MonkeyWellbeing.com, we get to work with professionals who are part of the NHS, charities and schools.

In today’s blog post, Sian Spencer from King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust tells us all about Play in Hospital Week 2015.

Hello from the Play and Youth Team at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, we are really thrilled to be sharing our experience of Play in Hospital Week 2015 with you, especially as we got to meet and spend the day with Monkey.

The Patient Experience is very important to us and is part of the role of the Health Play Specialist (HPS), Play Practitioner and Youth Worker, it is also important to share our skills and promote specialised play in hospital.
This week across the country all our colleagues were doing the same.

The beginning of the week was about sharing the message and the role of the team, the work that we do in preparing children and young people for hospital procedures, how we create a non-threatening environment and why that is important, oh and how much fun we have too.

The team covers a wide area, from the Children’s Wards, A&E, SCBU and Theatres, to Outpatients and Short Stay wards. We are also based at two separate sites, King’s College, Denmark Hill, and The PRUH site, in Farnborough Kent.

We had a fantastic time organising fancy dress mornings, messy play activities, crazy play dough time, and face painting, but as HPSs it’s also the quieter moments that hold a special place in our hearts – visiting a long term patient in a paediatric intensive care unit (PICU), sharing songs and a story with them and a smile – that’s our Lucozade!

We enjoyed welcoming Bonzai ,our fantastic Pets as Therapy dog, and had 2 stunning concerts at the PRUH site from Music In Hospitals – with some fancy dress and cakes thrown in, and Kermit the Frog to hand out Starlight party bags.

Play in Hospital Week - Meeting MonkeyThere were also some VIP visitors, namely MONKEY! who spent an amazing day with us sharing all the work he is doing to help and support children and young people in hospital, he met lots of nurses, doctors and children too.

Monkey visited the ED Department and was also able to receive some of our brilliant care, and made a video so everybody could see – it was great to be able to share that with Monkey’s Mum, Helen, too!

It is so important to share skills and teach HCPs the many different ways a child or young person can be supported in hospital.

At the PRUH site we also welcomed our VIP Kath Evans – Head of Patient Experience for Children and Young People, and Maternity Services from NHS England. Kath came to look round our inpatient children’s ward, meet some of the nurses and doctors and highlight Play in Hospital Week, she also enjoyed being part of our Music In Hospitals concert with some of the children and families.

Moments of play and time to support and engage with children and young people is at the core of our work, and we have been thrilled to share it with Monkey.

Thank you to Monkey, Kath Evans, Music in Hospitals, Pets as Therapy and Starlight Foundation, and to all the teams everywhere.

Monkey Wellbeing would like to thank Sian for her blog post. To find out more about Play in Hospital Week, visit http://www.starlight.org.uk/latest-news/national-play-in-hospital-week-is-coming/.