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Cartoon portraits of NHS staff helping young patients see the friendly face behind the mask

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

With masks here to stay for the foreseeable future, cartoon portraits of doctors and nurses are helping young patients connect with some staff at the Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow.

The Paediatric Renal Service and Play Teams at RHC have been into cartoon caricatures of themselves by an artist, which they now wear as a badge on their uniform.

These were kindly donated by the Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity who have provided 71 caricature badges to staff.   

Dr Ben Reynolds, consultant paediatric nephrologist at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, who leads the Royal Hospital for Children paediatric transplant service, has said these have made an impact on his patients.

Dr Reynolds commented: “As paediatricians, our focus is always on providing child-centred care.  The cartoon badges are a great way to remind our well-known patients what we look like behind the mask, and a friendly touch when meeting new patients for the first time. 

“The day the badges arrived, the laughter from the children's dialysis unit filled the ward. as they compared all the different faces.  The badges still cause fits of the giggles in some of the kids (and staff!) and have definitely helped distract from the impact of everyone wearing masks.”

Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity launched its Sunshine Caricature Ward Wish in October 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and staff having to wear PPE and masks. These personalised caricature badges enable children to see the faces behind the mask, as well as bring some humour and lightness to a difficult time. 

Claire Kelly, Hospital Liaison Manager, commented: “We are so pleased to know that these badges are having such a fun and positive impact to children receiving treatment. To be isolated and unwell as a young person at such an uncertain time is really scary, so we were thrilled to create badges for the staff at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to help bring some fun and sunshine to their wards.

“Our Sunshine Caricature Badges have been a huge hit with patients and staff alike, so we’re delighted we’re able to continue to provide these personalised badges to children’s hospitals across the UK and bring some much-needed joy and happiness.”

Rays of Sunshine is a national children’s charity that brightens the lives of seriously ill children aged three to 18 across the UK by granting their greatest wishes and providing ongoing support within hospitals.

During the pandemic, the charity has continued to offer support and its services to seriously ill children when they need it the most.  If you would like to apply for a Ward Wish or want to know more about the services, visit


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Last Updated: 11 November 2021