There’s something different about the Royal Free children’s wards. As you walk in, everything looks a bit brighter. So do the staff – they’re all kitted out in new cheery, child-friendly uniforms.
“It really feels as though this has lifted the mood on the ward,” said Trish Luck, matron, paediatrics. “The staff love the new uniforms. They were a bit self-conscious wandering around the trust at first, and there were a few laughs, but now they’re quite proud of them.
“We’d wanted to do this for a long time, but it was quite costly. Earlier this year we were given the go ahead. We found a company which brought in a range of swatches so that staff, patients and parents could all help make a choice.”
The nurses’ uniforms have a blue background dotted with childlike medical motifs, such as nurses, doctors and mini-ambulances. Domestic staff will wear the same fabric but with a green background, and bank nurses and students will have a tabard to differentiate them. The Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital is keen to introduce the new uniforms on its children’s wards.
“This is the first step towards doing things to make the wards more friendly. Most of the children and parents really like it. We also want to bring in child-friendly hospital gowns and have a child’s voice telling people to wash their hands as they enter the wards,” said Trish.
Adolescents are not forgotten. Until now, younger children have always had the playroom but there was nowhere for teenagers to chill out in their own space. Now a small room has been created for them within the wards, with new furniture, a TV, DVD, stereo, computer, books and magazines.
Notes to editors
1) For further information contact: Aysha Shah, communications assistant, Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust, 020 7317 7590, firstname.lastname@example.org
2) The Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust has around 900 beds and sees about 700,000 patients a year from all over the world. We employ around 4,600 people and have a turnover of about £450m. Our services include a major accident and emergency service, all branches of surgery and medicine, a renal service serving the whole of north London, paediatrics, maternity services, care of elderly people, an adolescent psychiatric service and one of two high security infectious diseases units in the country. We are renowned for our specialist services including liver, kidney and bone marrow transplantation, renal, AIDS/HIV, infectious diseases, plastic surgery, immunology, paediatric gastroenterology, ENT surgery and audiological medicine, amyloidosis and scleroderma. We are a leading cancer centre with a range of specialist diagnostic and treatment services in oncology and haematology and a major neuroscience base with a network extending throughout north London and into the Home Counties. There are associated internationally recognised research and training programmes.