Children benefit from new ward at Evelina London

A new unit designed specifically for children who need planned care has opened at Evelina London Children’s Hospital.

Snow Fox ward is larger than the facility it has replaced, meaning more children can be treated at the hospital for planned non-emergency care, such as minor surgical procedures, diagnostic tests and scans.

The unit features fun, brightly-coloured artwork, developed in partnership with Evelina London and art coordinators Art in Site.

The artwork includes illustrated word games and puzzles on the ceilings and walls so children who need treatment requiring them to sit or lie for long periods of time have something stimulating to look at. It was funded by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, which supports projects across Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, including Evelina London.

The new ward contains 19 treatment rooms and a parents’ lounge with facilities to heat food and make warm drinks, so that families do not need to get refreshments elsewhere in the hospital.

The ward also includes new reclining chairs and a blood transfusion machine the unit’s sickle cell patients have named after the rapper Stormzy.

Sean Docherty, 16, from Broadstairs in Kent, has been treated for Crohn’s disease for more than two years at Evelina London.

Sean, an A-level student, said: “I’m really fond of the new ward. It’s bright, airy and feels very calm and relaxing.

“I especially like the new reclining chairs. They’re very comfortable and are easy to operate. The artwork is lovely too. It helps you to forget that you’re in a hospital and takes your mind off the treatment.

“I really enjoy coming to Evelina London. All of the doctors and nurses are amazing and I have been inspired by them to pursue a career in children’s nursing. The new ward has made visiting the hospital extra special.”

Debbie Komaromy, head of nursing at Evelina London, said: “Snow Fox is much bigger than the area where children needing planned care treatments used to be seen, which means we are able to care for more of these patients than ever before.

“This also means that this group of children are waiting less time to be treated, and it has eased bed pressure on other wards, allowing more young patients who are seriously ill to be cared for at our hospital.

“We know that coming to hospital can be a worrying time for children and their families, so it was very important to us that the space was designed specifically with the needs of young patients in mind.

“We asked patients and staff for their input about what they would like to see in the new ward and we worked very closely with Art in Site to develop artwork that would be fun and engaging, and help our patients feel at ease. We have received lots of positive feedback from patients and staff about Snow Fox.”

The new unit is part of a wider project to expand Evelina London Children’s Hospital. The hospital’s current building was opened in 2005 and since then the number of Evelina London patients has more than doubled.

Evelina London is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. The hospital was founded in 1869 as Evelina Hospital for Sick Children by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, whose wife, Evelina, died along with their baby in childbirth.

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