New Sensory Space Opened in Children’s A&E Department at The Royal Oldham

A fantastic new sensory space has been officially opened by the Mayor of Oldham, Cllr Javid Iqbal in the Children’s A&E Department at The Royal Oldham Hospital, thanks to grant funding received from SicKids Charity and The Royal Oldham League of Friends.

The new sensory space is a colourful cubicle in the paediatric area of the Accident and Emergency Department, which has been designed with the help of SicKids Charity. SicKids worked closely with children and young people who have a learning disability, complex needs or autism and their families to design and create an environment that will cater to the needs of young children when they find themselves in an unfamiliar, stressful situation when attending the hospital’s busy A&E Department.

The new sensory space includes many great features including an interactive wall display, a changing colour bubble tube, optic lights, mats for the floor, a TV, ceiling lights, bean bag and a range of sensory hand-held toys, all of which will keep young children well entertained and relaxed during their time in the A&E department.

Lauren Gilmore, Paediatric Senior Sister in the Children’s A&E Department at The Royal Oldham submitted a grant application to SicKids earlier in the year for £2,100 to fund the sensory space and this was very kindly match funded by The Royal Oldham League of Friends, which enabled plans for the fantastic new space to go ahead.

Lauren explains how the new sensory space will really benefit some of the hospital’s youngest patients: “Coming to hospital can be a really stressful experience for young children, especially when they’re poorly. This new space will help us to create a more positive and relaxing atmosphere for children and their families. The beauty of the space is that it can also be used as a fully functioning area of the department when these services aren’t needed. We cannot thank SicKids and The Royal Oldham Hospital League of Friends enough for their very kind donations, which have made this fantastic new space possible. It really will make the world of difference to the children who have to visit the department.”

SicKids is a registered charity that specialises in the provision of SicKids Sensory Spaces, a concept it co-created with children and young people and their families. Sensory equipment is designed specifically to support the development of the senses – like touch, hearing and sight – through things like special lighting, music, and tactile objects. For some children with developmental delay, a sensory room could mean the difference between long term disabilities and mobility issues, and good health and happiness.

Director of Nursing at SicKids, Dianne Cook said: “It’s amazing that children, young people, and their families have co-designed this facility. Having a state-of-the-art sensory space in the children’s Emergency Department will really help the hospital to deliver better care to children and young people who attend the department with a learning or physical disability. It will also make the environment much more welcoming for children who are frightened about coming to hospital.”

For more information on the work that SicKids do, please visit their website: www.sickids.co.uk or follow them on Twitter: @SicKidsuk.

For any media enquiries, please contact Josie Neil, Communications and Engagement Lead on: 0161 6278703 or by e-mail: josie.neil@pat.nhs.uk.

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