Our play team is based at The Royal London Hospital and is made up of both health play specialists and play workers working as part of the multidisciplinary team to support patients and their families during their hospital stay.
Health play specialists are qualified members of the health care team and work to promote effective coping mechanisms through play, procedural preparation, procedural support, distraction therapy, education, and self-expression activities.
Health play specialists along with play workers provides holistic support to children and young people aged 0-18 through normalising and therapeutic play, age appropriate toys/resources, developmental play, support to patients, help to create a child-friendly environment, support siblings and families, run group play sessions and organize events and specialist entertainment. They provide emotional support for families, and encourage development of children facing a broad range of challenging experiences, particularly those related to healthcare and hospitalisation. The team also plays a vital role in the psychosocial wellbeing of the patients and their families.
The service is provided from 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday on both in and out patient services.
The team also provide a full referral service for patients who require additional support with procedural, hospitalisation, behaviour plans, coping skills and needle ‘phobia’ sessions in conjunction with providing support to families and siblings.
Information for children and young people
The play team provide support while coming into hospital. They have lots of toys and things to do and all the wards/clinic areas have their own play area. The team also have a schedule of fun activities to do if you need to stay in hospital and also have an adolescent room for teenage patients.
Play specialists are here to help explain what happens while you are in hospital or before you come in and give you lots of information and show you some of the things that you may see. They answer questions that you may have and help you to understand if you are feeling worried or scared. The team are here to make sure you feel comfortable and involved in your healthcare. They can work with you to make a plan that helps to make the hospital experience easier. If you are feeling nervous about anything, you can talk to them and they try to help make you less worried!
Information for parents/carers
Health play specialists along with play workers provides holistic support to children and young people aged 0-18 through normalising and therapeutic play, age appropriate toys/resources, developmental play, support to patients, help to create a child-friendly environment, support siblings and families, run group play sessions and organize events and specialists entertainment. They will also provide emotional support for families.
If you feel that your child would benefit from play input while in hospital, or a referral for specialist support please talk to a member of your medical team.
Information for professionals