Play is at the very centre of a healthy child’s life. From the earliest age, playing helps children to learn, to relate to other people and to have fun. When children or teenagers are admitted to hospital, they are at their most vulnerable. They are not only ill, but are also separated from their friends and familiar surroundings. Play can really make a difference.
Working closely as part of the multi-disciplinary team, hospital play specialists and play leaders:
- Organise daily play and art activities in the playroom or at the bedside provide play to achieve developmental goals
- Help children master and cope with anxieties and feelings
- Use play to prepare children for hospital procedures
- Support families and siblings
- Contribute to clinical judgements through their play-based observations
- Teach the value of play for the sick child
- Encourage peer group friendships to develop
- Organise parties and special events
Play staff are based on the ward, Day Care, Clinic and in radiotherapy.