New sensory space opened in children’s A&E 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.

The space was made possible thanks to grant funding received from SicKids Charity and The Royal Oldham League of Friends.

It is a colourful cubicle in the paediatric area of A&E and has been designed with the help of SicKids Charity.

Oldham Mayor, Cllr Javid Iqbal with Briony McNally, Learning Disability Nurse, Ruth Bell, Learning Disability Nurse, Julie Winterbottom, ED Lead Nurse, Lauren Gilmore, Paediatric Senior Sister with Den Carter and Dr Andrew Rowland from SicKids Charity and Royal Oldham League of Friends volunteers Rose Hall (Secretary) Betty Tomlinson (Vice Chair) Anne Morris (Treasurer)

SicKids worked closely with children and young people who have a learning disability, complex needs or autism and their families to create an environment that caters to their needs when they find themselves in an unfamiliar, stressful situation when attending the hospital’s busy A&E.

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.

Lauren Gilmore, Paediatric Senior Sister in the Children’s A&E at The Royal Oldham, submitted a grant application to SicKids earlier in the year for £2,100 to fund the sensory space.

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 said: “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 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.

The new sensory room

“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.

Director 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, visit their website: www.sickids.co.uk or follow them on Twitter: @SicKidsuk

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