BEING admitted to hospital can be a little bit scary and daunting for anyone, let alone a child.
Creating the right atmosphere and environment to make youngsters and their families feel at ease is vital.
Staff in the children’s ward at Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin have been doing their best to make the experience as comfortable and stress-free as possible since the ward opened 18 years ago.
Last year it provided care and support to 1,321 young patients across Moray.
With the success of the Moray Friends of ARCHIE appeal, staff are looking forward to the creation of an exciting and bright new ward in 2014.
The appeal, supported by ‘The Northern Scot’, looks set to exceed £130,000, which will mean the ward undergoing a remarkable transformation.
As design chiefs from the ARCHIE Foundation and NHS Grampian finalise the plans, staff and local families have welcomed the major refurbishment.
Sandra Bromham has been the hospital’s play specialist on the ward for 16 years. She said: “The ward is going to look really great and we are all excited. Although the ward is only 18 years old, it is starting to look a little tired, so it will be great to have a bright new look.”
The ward looks after children from birth up to the age of 16, and the new activity room on the ward will reflect that diversity.
Play is a crucial element in the recovery process and coping with procedures that are required when a child is in hospital.
“Children who play in hospital recover sooner, get home quicker and are less traumatised,” added Sandra. “It is scary being in hospital, and being able to play can take their minds off their illness.”
Sandra said the Moray Friends of ARCHIE appeal and refurbishment will provide a massive boost to local families and staff on the ward.
“We are a local hospital that covers a big area, and that is why the public have got behind the appeal. Everybody has a soft spot when it comes to helping sick children,” she said.
The ward, which can accommodate from eight to 10 children at any one time, will be transformed over a phased basis in the coming months.
Ward Sister Marion Hay said: “It will be a big boost and create a nice environment for the children to come into and staff to work in.
“Everything on the ward is beginning to get a bit dated; wear and tear takes it toll. It will be lovely to bring it up to date.”
Marion, a former community nurse in Lossiemouth, joined the children’s ward soon after it opened.
She said staff are excited by the plans for the ward, which will see all the patient areas, play room, family room, main corridor and entrance which is shared by paediatric outpatients and maternity ward undergo a major transformation.
Sandra and Marion paid tribute to everybody who has supported the appeal over the last two years.