Saints winger George North cuts the ribbon for Northampton hospital's new children's service
A Northampton hospital is using scooters, Saints bed sheets and fidget spinners to make young patients feel more at home in care.
Yesterday (August 17), BMI Three Shires Hospital, off Cliftonville, opened a refitted consultancy room especially for children yesterday (August 17), with Saints winger George North on hand to cut the ribbon.
The service has been kitted out with children in mind, with low-seat sofas, toddler-sized chairs and a "distraction box" of toys like fidget spinners to help young patients when they have blood taken.
Poorly inpatients who are fit enough can also take a scooter or pedal car on their trips to see specialists across the hospital.
The approach comes after Three Shires launched their children's service for under 18s in March, but took on feedback from parents that the care was too "adult".
Parent Claire Heath, 46, from Earls Barton, who helped shape the new approach, said: "My little boy needed surgery in March. It's a worrying time for a parent but from a child's point of view, it can be just daunting. It's important to be relaxed and not stress."
As part of their care, young patients' rooms are furnished ahead of their arrival with personalised bedsheets, such as Saints colours or Disney's Frozen, which were donated by a member of staff.
Executive director of Three Shires, which is a private hospital, Dominic Bath said: "It can be incredibly stressful to come into a hospital and we should do what we can to make a visit more child-friendly.
"We now have a stationed paediatric nurse at all times and a dedicated space for them to come off of general anaesthetic after surgery."