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Patient & Family Support

We look after the needs of the patient and their families, whilst they undergo lifesaving treatment and care in Bristol Children's Hospital

Here are just some of the ways we provide support:

The Grand Appeal's Sibling Support Service

As the Bristol Children’s Hospital Charity, we care for the whole family. Often children are treated at the hospital for long periods of time, and we want to ensure that their brothers and sisters get the help they need too. Some families relocate from throughout the South West of England or South Wales for treatment at the hospital meaning that siblings, especially younger children, may need to attend the hospital with their parents.

Every year, we raise over £5,000 for a sibling fund, to support their emotional well being and give them a welcome break from hospital life. The fund pays for day trips to local attractions like Bristol Zoo and We The Curious, and also ensures that siblings can enjoy creative activities at the hospital Play Centre, as well as having lessons in the hospital school if they come from outside of Bristol.

Sibling Fund

The Grand Appeal Family Support Service

When a child is sick in hospital, families experience tremendous disruption to their family life. The role of the parent is vital to a child's recovery yet sometimes the needs of family members are easily put aside. The Grand Appeal understands that helping parents is actually helping the their child so we provide a Family Support Service to support the whole family through affected by a child’s illness. Our Family Support Team, Bobby and Sarah, together provide a life-line to parents, carers, grandparents, brothers and sisters, giving emotional, financial and practical support when they need it the most.

Bobby and Sarah support families throughout their whole stay in hospital - from diagnosis through to treatment and discharge. This service is funded entirely by The Grand Appeal, so thank you to everyone who makes this vital role possible.

family support

Young Persons Involvement Worker

Bristol Children's Hospital's Young Persons Involvement Worker, Sara, works with patients throughout the children’s hospital, giving young patients a voice, ensuring that patients feel involved and supported during their stay in hospital, as well as working to ensure that the hospital is the best it can be for young people.

The hospital received national recognition, in the form of a Gold Award from the Children’s Commissioner, for participation work with young people during their stay in hospital. Sara's role is joint funded by The Grand Appeal, so thank you to everyone who makes this vital role possible.

young persons support worker

Bristol Children's Hospital School

Illness can seriously disrupt a child’s education, particularly if they have a long stay in hospital or are admitted multiple times. There is also the worry for parents that their child will struggle to catch up once they return to school.

The Grand Appeal provides funding every year to support the hospital school – a welcoming and comfortable space where children can learn according to their age and needs, and where their brothers and sisters can also study if they come from outside of Bristol.

Having a hospital school ensures children don't miss out on education due to illness, and provides children with distraction and mental stimulation during their stay, improving their wellbeing.

hospital school

The British Transplant Games

The games are a fantastic opportunity for children who have had an organ transplant to meet each other, share their experiences and have lots of fun.

Training for the Games also helps patients regain their fitness and provides an exciting challenge, supporting their emotional as well as physical health. Every year we send a team of young patients from Bristol Children’s Hospital to the Games, where they compete in sports like athletics, swimming, volleyball and mini tennis, and attend fun social events.

We are proud to fund this annual celebration of both transplant patients and organ donors.

British Transplant Games

Child-friendly children's hospital website

Visiting hospital, especially for the first time, can be frightening and confusing for children, but yet it's really important for children to understand what will happen when they visit the hospital and what their experience might be.

To help patients understand, we've paid for a child-friendly website for our young patients so that children can find answers to all their questions prior to their stay.

We also funded and helped to create ‘A Little Deep Sleep’, an animated film which uses real patients’ and doctors’ voices to explain to children what happens when they go under general anaesthetic, preparing them for surgery and easing their worries.