The Edge of Health

Category: Children Coming to Hospital

Children Coming to Hospital – what children want health professionals to know about coming to hospital for a procedure

In hospital, children may feel small, scared, worried or overwhelmed. The way health professionals engage with them makes a massive difference.

We worked with children and young people to create the ‘Children Coming to Hospital’ resource which includes a short animation for health professionals with practical advice about how to communicate with children coming to hospital.

Children told us they can struggle to join in the conversations with health professionals, as people often use words which are strange and unfamiliar to them. Children want to know that it is okay to ask questions to find out what is going on. They told us that it can help to have choices about what happens to them. Simple things like choosing which music to listen to or who sits with them while they have something done can make a huge difference to their experience.

The Children Coming to Hospital resource includes information for children, parents and health professionals. It aims to help everyone work together to make a child’s hospital experience as good as possible.

The Collaboration

The Children Coming to Hospital resource was developed collaboratively with children, parents and health professionals and working with the wonderfully creative guys at MisterMunro.

Once the resources were designed and made, it was important for them to reach as many families as possible so that they could hopefully use them to have a better hospital experience. This is where it is vital to work in partnership with hospitals like Alder Hey Children’s Hospital to help spread the word.

Lucy Bray worked with Steph Sinha from the pain team at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital to help create the Children Coming to Hospital parent leaflet.

We created the top tips by using up to date research and spending time talking to groups of parents across Liverpool about the important things to include. The leaflet is a key part of the Children Coming to Hospital resource as parents have an important role in play in supporting their child through a procedure.

Children Coming to Hospital

It can be hard for children to know what to expect when they come to hospital for procedures such as an X-ray or blood test. Children tend to have a better experience if they know what will happen and have the chance to prepare themselves. The ‘Children Coming to Hospital’ resource was developed with children, young people and parents by Lucy Bray, Bernie Carter and Ed Horowicz from Edge Hill University.

This engaging resource is made up of a short animation and comic strip for children, a short animation for health professionals and a leaflet for ‘parent/carers’. We hope the resource can help make coming to hospital a bit less scary for children. It also provides top tips for parents and health professionals on how to prepare and help children during the experience.

‘Children Coming to Hospital’ is free to download and use. The resource was launched in February 2019 and was highly commended in the British Medical Association Patient Information Awards.

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