Each year, over 25,000 babies, children and young people visit UCLH’s Emergency Department (ED) for emergency nursing and medical care. Hospitals are clinical environments and we identified that our Emergency Department was not a reassuring space for young patients. We aspired to create a special area that was bright, engaging and comfortable to help children and their families feel more at ease when they visited UCLH’s ED. This was above and beyond what the NHS could fund and, thanks to generous supporters, we were able to achieve our goal and transform the Children’s ED.
The project has created a healthcare environment that incorporates art, play areas, soft furnishings and lighting design to create a warm and welcoming space. This will help to distract them from their stressful situation, avoid the need for heavy anaesthetics and allow staff to focus their resources on the greatest need. It will also help to alleviate the anxiety and worry of young patients and their carers when visiting the Emergency Department and help to improve the overall patient experience.