Patient and Family Support
As soon as a child is admitted to Bristol Children's Hospital we are there for them and their family every step of the way.
Financial pressures, childcare worries and time off work, coupled with the emotional burden of supporting your sick child, can leave families feeling isolated and lost. We’re there for families in a number of ways to ensure that no parent or carer is left feeling alone whilst their child is undergoing life-saving treatment at Bristol Children's Hospital.
Here are just some of the ways we provide support:
Family Support Programme
Throughout 2018, our Family Support Workers have worked with over 1,000 families, helping them to cope with the pressures and complexities that come with having a child in hospital, and providing practical and dedicated advice to help them move forward. They provide a life-line to parents, carers, grandparents, brothers and sisters, giving emotional, financial and practical support when they need it the most.
Young Persons Involvement Worker
Whenever we begin a new project at the hospital, we ask the people who know it best: the patients. The Youth Involvement Group, supported by the Young Persons Involvement Worker role that we part-fund, is made up of young patients who are passionate about the NHS.
“The Youth Involvement Group is so important, not only in making a young person’s stay in hospital easier, but young people engaged with their health have better outcomes, so there are long-term positive implications, too!”
Young Persons Involvement Worker
Patient and Family-Focused Events
Growing up is never easy but imagine how difficult it can be when you have to spend your childhood in and out of hospital. We support former and current patients and their families through a whole range of events and support groups, both in the hospital and the community. Disability Fun Day, brittle bone meet ups and the National Transplant Games are just a handful of events where we give patients the opportunity to get to know other children with similar experiences, take part in events in the community and, most importantly, don’t miss out on being a kid!
We're not only there for patients but their brothers and sisters too. Whether it be Bristol Zoo or We The Curious, we fund day trips to local attractions making sure siblings get a welcome break from hospital life. They can also enjoy creative activities at the hospital's Activities Centre as well as having lessons in the hospital school.
“I really enjoyed doing the Lego workshop in the play centre, it was nice to get off the ward. I like how you can use your imagination and have freedom to make things with Lego.”
Brother of a Bristol Children's Hospital patient
Having a baby in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit sometimes means mums and dads are often away from home for days at a time. When they do go home, they experience a considerable amount
of separation anxiety and stress. To help with this, we work with video messaging platform vCreate, to provide special devices for nurses to send video updates to parents to maintain the connection between parent and baby, even when they’re away from the unit.
A Child-Friendly Website
Imagine visiting hospital for the very first time. This experience can be both frightening and confusing for children. To help patients understand their future treatment at Bristol Children's Hospital, we have funded a child-friendly website, making it easy for them to find the information they need to know before their stay.
To explain what happens when you go under general anaesthetic we also helped produce 'A Little Deep Sleep', an animated film to help prepare young patients for surgery and ease their worries.