FAMILIES of patients at Leeds Children’s Hospital have been making use of new bedside cabinets and tables designed to brighten the hospital environment.
The new furniture was purchased thanks to funds raised by supporters of Leeds United fanzine The Square Ball over Christmas. The ‘Signed Centenary Shirt Raffle’ raised an incredible £30,000 for hospital charity Leeds Cares in support of Leeds Children’s Hospital.
Child-friendly ‘over bed’ tables and matching cabinets have been purchased, with smooth edges for safer play and mealtimes. Both are brightly coloured to be visually stimulating for young patients and families.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, patients are facing longer than average wait times for beds to become available, meaning the environment they are staying in becomes even more important.
With visiting limited to one person per patient, new mum Laura Marsden has spent the last eight weeks on children’s surgical ward L42 with five-month-old Reggie.
Reggie was born six weeks premature in January weighing only 3lb 9oz.
After it was noted he was having problems with feeding and a swollen stomach, Reggie was diagnosed with a severe case of Necrotising Enterocolitis (NEC) – a bowel condition that affects premature newborns and can cause parts of the bowel to die.
Reggie underwent four operations to save his small intestine, having 70% of it removed. He spent 13 weeks in Neonatal ICU before being transferred to L42. Reggie is now waiting for a bed to become available on a gastro-specific ward.
“I wasn’t able to stay with, or even visit Reggie when he was in ICU and it broke my heart. I received daily photos on vCreate (a Leeds Cares funded app that parents can download to remain in touch with the ward, as well as receive photo and video updates of their baby) – that really helped, but I felt like I’d missed out on a lot whilst he was there. Being able to stay with him now is wonderful. I don’t leave his side.
“The environment is lovely – the furniture, the artwork everywhere, it’s really bright and homely.
“The staff have been amazing with Reggie and he loves all of them. He is always smiling when they come round. They’ve been really good for me to talk to too, advising on people to speak to for support when we eventually go home.”
Staff Nurse Emma Scott said:
“We want to make every child and their family feel special and welcomed, and a significant factor is their bed space. This becomes the area they eat, sleep, dress and play in. The old tables and drawers were dull, outdated and not particularly child friendly. The new bright colours give a real warmth to the ward environment. We love them!”