Staff and patients at Newham University Hospital celebrated and raised awareness of the importance of play in the treatment of poorly young patients by arranging a number of interactive activities.
Throughout the week, smiles were put on patients' faces as they prepared for Halloween and made spider hats. They also enjoyed a performance from entertainer Skittleman, who turned balloons into animals and performed magic tricks. Captain Starlight, from Starlight Foundation Charity, also visited and painted faces and read to the children.
Maryam Abow, a parent, said: "My daughter has been in hospital for three months and it's great to see a smile on her face while she's here – the specialist play worker has organised lots of activities this week which my daughter has really enjoyed."
Hamera Elahi, specialist play worker at the Rainbow Centre at Newham University Hospital, run by Barts Health NHS Trust said: “Play is extremely important while children are in hospital as it gives them a chance to have a break and forget about why they are here. We try to make their time with us as enjoyable as possible. We also use play to teach and prepare children for the tests and procedures that they will undergo so children can be at ease during their real treatment."
National Play in Hospital week is organised by the National Association of Health Play Specialists and Starlight Children’s Foundation supports it.