A new fundraising appeal has been launched to help create a special waiting area for children needing urgent medical care at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (RD&E).
Royal Devon Hospitals Charity is hoping to raise £250,000 for the new facility being built as part of a multi-million-pound transformation of the hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) by Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
The money will fund ocean-themed wall murals and light panels, interactive digital equipment, and comfortable seating with USB charging points.
Head of fundraising Ian Roome said the charity hoped to help make a trip to hospital a little less scary for some of Devon’s youngest patients.
“We want to create a calm and welcoming new space within the new ED for children and young people needing urgent medical care,” he said.
“It will help them to feel safe and secure from the moment they arrive in hospital, and mean that they no longer have to wait alongside adults in an often-cramped waiting room at what can be a scary and upsetting time.”
The new children’s ED area will also feature paediatric bays and a new Paediatric Assessment Unit (PAU) to help provide emergency care to around 30,000 young patients a year.
Tori Riches, Clinical Matron at the RD&E, said: “To have an environment that is friendly, where children can be separated from some of the other things that they might see in a busy emergency department, would make such a difference.”
The fundraising appeal has been launched with the help of 10-year-old Tim Harvey, from Cranbrook. Tim, who has already had more than 150 operations after being born with a defect that meant he was unable to swallow safely, is a regular visitor to the RD&E’s ED with parents Kristy and Ralph.
Mum Kristy said she knew first-hand what an anxious time it can be for families waiting to receive urgent medical care.
“Hospitals can be a scary place as an adult, let alone a child, so having a child-friendly waiting area in the ED would make a world of difference,” she said.
“When distressed children fuss and cry, it can sometimes get unwanted attention from other patients, so having a new paediatric ED area would help ease the stress of being a parent to a poorly child,” she said.
Find out more about the Children’s ED Appeal and make a donation here.