Adolescents at Whipps Cross Hospital now have a dedicated room kitted out with a PlayStation, television and activities to help improve their hospital experience.
On Friday 16 December 2016 the adolescent room was officially opened by members of Barts Health NHS Trust’s Youth Empowerment Squad, a team of adolescent patients. They had called for a dedicated space at Whipps Cross Hospital where people their age could feel more at home. The Squad, supported by hospital staff, secured funding for the redecoration and were instrumental in its planning and design.
A room has been repainted and fitted with new furniture, with patients from across the hospital also donating a PlayStation 4, a television, a DVD player and computer games to help complete the transformation.
The adolescent room was made possible with the help of Rob Ross, a local police officer who had regular treatment at the hospital as a child, ran, swam, cycled and climbed to raise almost £6,000 for Barts Charity, who are using the money to fund children’s services projects at Whipps Cross Hospital at Rob’s wishes.
Lexie Edwards, 16, a member of the Barts Health Youth Empowerment Squad, said: "It is important for teenagers to feel comfortable whilst in hospital. Every teenager needs time out and a free space that they can go to whenever they need to either be alone or want to be with others facing similar things. Being able to have teenage activities as a distraction is one of the best pain killers for us when we are in hospital."
Dr Andrea Leigh, Consultant Paediatrician at Whipps Cross Hospital, added: "We’re committed to improving the experience of our patients so it’s great that we were able to build this new area. To have it designed by the very people who will use it means that we are able to further tailor the safe and compassionate care that our patients want from us."
"We’re delighted that teenagers staying on Acorn Ward now have a dedicated space," said Simon Pitts, Community Manager at Barts Charity. "It can be an especially difficult age to be in hospital so it’s important that they have an area just for them. And it’s all thanks to the hard work and dedication of Rob Ross, who put so much effort into his fundraising, tackling 15 different challenges in the course of a year. Our thanks go to him – as well as to the volunteers from Timberland UK who painted the room. It’s a great example of the amazing impact supporters’ donations can have."
To mark the opening of the adolescent room, a dance troupe from Leaders Community, a youth-led charity that provides creative learning programmes to young people, gave a performance for patients, parents and staff.
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NOTES TO EDITORS
Barts Health NHS Trust
With a turnover of £1.4 billion and a workforce of around 16,000, Barts Health is the largest NHS trust in the country, and one of Britain’s leading healthcare providers. The Trust’s five hospitals – St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the City, including the Barts Heart Centre, The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, Newham University Hospital in Plaistow, Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone and Mile End – deliver high quality compassionate care to the 2.5 million people of East London and beyond.