National Play in Hospital Week - 2016

28 September 2016

The Royal Free London has kicked off “National Play in Hospital Week” in style with fun filled activities and guest visits scheduled to take place all over the trust. 

According to the National Association of Health Play Specialists (NAHPS), play is vital to the continued development of children and young people. Children and young people are often at their most vulnerable when they are admitted to hospital and play can help them adjust to a potentially stressful situation.

Special visits by the pets as therapy dogs and the princesses from Disney’s Frozen are expected throughout the week as well a magic show and fun quizzes. The walls of the meeting room in the children’s ward at the Royal Free Hospital have also been colourfully decorated with staff and patient’s comments about why play in hospital matters to them. 

One comment from a patient on the wall reads “I think play is important because it gives you something to do and is a good distraction. Playing makes you happy.” 

Abbi Spurdle, play specialist, said: “This week gives us the chance to promote our role within the trust and show the importance of play in hospital. Children can have negative experiences in hospital as they see so many new things which they do not understand, but playing gives them something which they are familiar with. It can help with their confidence and relieve stress, while also giving them a chance to express themselves.

“We chose to put our colourful wall in the meeting room as all of our staff and patients go through there, we’re hoping that the bright colours and balloons will encourage our young patients to start playing and have fun. 

“We are all excited that we can offer our young patients something like this, as it will be a great help to their recovery. I know that the children will enjoy the two princesses from Frozen who are visiting and the pets as therapy dogs are always popular. This is an exciting week for the children, and everyone else involved.”


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About the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

The Royal Free began as a pioneering organisation and continues to play a leading role in the care of patients. Our mission is to provide world class expertise and local care. In the 21st century, the Royal Free London continues to lead improvements in healthcare.

The Royal Free London attracts patients from across the country and beyond to its specialist services in liver and kidney transplantation, haemophilia, renal care, HIV, infectious diseases, plastic surgery, immunology, Parkinson's disease, vascular surgery, cardiology, amyloidosis and scleroderma and we are a member of the academic health science partnership UCLPartners.

In July 2014 Barnet Hospital and Chase Farm Hospital became part of the Royal Free London. Read 'A bigger trust, a better future'.