Imperial Health Charity

Care and calm in a crisis

A hospital visit or stay can be stressful for both children and their families. Children’s services at St Mary’s Hospital in London have ambitious plans to transform an outdated space on Great Western Ward into a welcoming room for play and therapy. The remodelled play and therapy room will be adaptable for children of all ages for developmentally supportive play, art and music therapy, and physiotherapy. A separate waiting room will provide a calm space for families.

Imperial Health Charity is raising funds for this transformation and we are pleased to contribute £70,000 towards the project. Our funding will help St Mary’s children’s services to create a multi-purpose room to support children and young people’s rehabilitation on Great Western Ward.

  • In 2022 over 3,500 physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy sessions were provided to children on Great Western Ward.
  • Over 5,324 children were admitted to Great Western Ward 2021-2023.
  • Approximately 19 beds are occupied each day on Great Western Ward.

Space to heal

The new play and therapy room will be used in four distinct ways. The therapies team will have a physiotherapy space to deliver vital treatment for young patients with movement difficulties. The main play area will be a social and lively space where play specialists can host group activities. A dedicated teenage zone will give young adults a place to focus on themselves and do the things they enjoy. Finally, an art and music therapy space will allow therapists to spark creativity and lead sessions to boost patients’ emotional wellbeing and mental health. The room will provide a calm, inclusive environment, accessible to all including patients with special educational needs and disabilities.

The room will bring a sense of home and warmth for children to enjoy, away from their hospital bed. The new, permanent waiting room will be a calming space for children and families with comfortable seating, beautiful artwork and soft furnishings.

“A dedicated therapy room on Great Western Ward will be invaluable. Working at bedsides is challenging. Providing young people in a state of distress with a more appropriate therapy space will help enable them to feel safe. It will allow young people to bring difficult thoughts and feelings to help them process their experience of hospital and illness without interruptions”.

Alice Patrick, Art Therapist, Great Western Ward, St Mary’s Hospita

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