The Royal Hospital for Sick Children at Yorkhill has its first state-of-the art multi-sensory room thanks to big-hearted Ministry of Defence Police Officers at Coulport Royal Navy Base.
The officers have contributed £8,500 from their charity funds to create the special room, and the Glasgow branch of national retailer the John Lewis Partnership have donated black-out curtains which would normally have cost £1200.
Sensory rooms are designed to relax patients during treatment in a safe environment.
The new area is kitted out with some of the latest technology, including a fibre-optic wall carpet, interactive bubble tube, a music creation hand wall, projector, light display, microphone sound system and fluorescent light system lights.
It was the brainchild of hospital play specialist Maureen McFarlane, who witnessed the benefits to patients when she worked in the London Hospital.
Maureen said: “I saw at first hand how a room like this helped patients and I asked if I could introduce a sensory room here in the hospital working together with occupational therapists and physios.
“This is a wonderful room, it gives children some control, and for many of the patients, for the first time in their lives.
“Thanks to the equipment, people with any degree of disability can change and influence their environment in a positive way.”
The Ministry of Defence Police charity, MDP Coulport Sick Children’s Fund, was set up in 1989 specifically to fundraise for Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children, with donations collected through deductions from the pay of police officers serving at RNAD Coulport. The Force, known as the MDP, provides specialist defence and security policing to the Coulport Base.
Cash from the Fund went towards creating the original soft play area, the first of its kind in an NHS hospital in Scotland, and trustees were more than happy to contribute to the new room.
MDP Sgt Brodie Pryke from the Police Fund, said: “ We have had a long association with Yorkhill and we are pleased to find that our contributions can bring such marvellous benefit to sick children. I know that all the officers here have every intention of continuing to provide funds that get so well used.”
The existing soft playroom had no access for children in wheelchairs or beds and traditionally it was used by special needs children.
Now the new sensory room is open to everyone, including adolescents who want somewhere to chill out and parents who may be experiencing a stressful time.
Joanne Oliphant of the Glasgow Branch of the John Lewis Partnership, said:
“We are delighted to be a part of this project, particularly because the sensory room will play such an important part in the treatment of the children.
“The hospital is very close to the hearts of the partners and we had no hesitation in responding to the request to provide the curtains for this special room.”
For more information contact NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Communications on 0141 201 4429.
Notes to Editors:
Sensory rooms and specific sensory integration therapy have shown to enhance sensory development, increase hand/eye co-ordination, promote language development and encourage relaxation for people of all ages and abilities.