Toys and books at the Children’s Hospital.

By Democrat reporter

Children at the Royal Hospital for Children (RHC) in Glasgow who are about to be anaesthetised can take their pick of a range of toys and books from Buzz Lightyear to a ‘Where’s Wally’ book in the anaesthetic room.

This is thanks to an initiative to improve the theatres experience for children and their families at the RHC by looking at ways of coming to theatres more interactive, immersive, calming and fun.

To start this journey of improvement toy boxes have been introduced into each anaesthetic room.  These contain a range of toys and books which children can play with in the anaesthetic room before going into theatre.  This welcome distraction can make the theatres experience less stressful.

The Theatres Improvement Initiative was introduced over the summer by Consultant Paediatric Anaesthetist Alyson Walker who in her role as anaesthetist makes it her priority to minimise the stress of the child and their parents or carers.

“Coming in for an operation or procedure can be a stressful time for children and their family.  Staff are very mindful of this and we try our very best to create a welcoming calm and fun environment.” says Alyson.

The toys range from Buzz Lightyear figures and Rubik Cubes to ‘Where’s Wally’ books and toy animals.

Alyson added:  ““We worked closely with Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity who very kindly agreed to fund the boxes and we are already seeing a difference.  Several parents, children and staff have commented that such a simple thing can provide just the distraction a child needs to help them go off to sleep calmly.”


Beatson 1

Overnight rooms for relatives at the Beatson Cancer Centre.

The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre is receiving praise for providing a ‘home from home’ which allows relatives to stay close to their loved ones.

The Glasgow cancer hospital has recently refurbished its five ‘overnight’ rooms, where relatives can stay to be close to family members while they are in-patients.

Biddy McEachern from Islay has been a frequent user of the rooms when she’s travelled with her Mum Beth for treatment.

She said: “I honestly don’t know what we would have done without these rooms. At first my mum was coming over to Glasgow every three weeks, but then it became one a week. I could never have afforded to pay for hotels all the time.

“It’s not just the money. It was so nice to know I was so close to mum in the hospital – she was just a floor away from me, which gave me such comfort.”

Thanks to funding from the Beatson Cancer Charity, the five rooms have been completely refurbished and now include a sofa, phone, fridge, crockery and television.

Before updating the rooms, staff asked patients and their families what they would like to see included in the new-look accommodation.

Biddy added: “It’s a perfect home from home and somewhere you can just chill out. Having the fridge and everything meant I could save money too as I was able to buy things in the shop to make a sandwich or cup of tea. Everything is taken care of.”

Mum Beth also found comfort in having her daughter so closes at hand.

She said: “Just knowing Biddy was so near gave me great comfort at a difficult time. It was one less thing for us to think about.

“My care at the Beatson has been marvellous. The nurses, the doctors, the domestics, every one of them can’t do enough for you. It’s a fantastic place and we will always be grateful.”

Melanie McColgan is the Beatson’s General Manager.  She said: “The rooms have always been well used and patients have appreciated the convenience they offer. Thanks to this generous donation from the Beatson Cancer Charity we have been able to transform them and make them much more homely. It’s lovely to hear stories like Biddy and Beth’s and hear how we have made their experience more comfortable.”

Leave a Reply