Play Team

The hospital play team at The Alex consists of qualified Hospital Play Specialists that help children/young people to have a more positive experience in hospital.

Who’s in the team?
  • Katy Weaver – Level 7 Day Case
  • Kate Woodhams and Vicky Barnes – Level 8 HDU & Surgical ward
  • Gayle Mulley – Level 9 Oncology & Medical ward
  • Amy Farmer – Children’s Emergency Department

Monday – Friday 7.30am – 5pm

As integral members of the multi-disciplinary team, the play staff can provide both normal and specialist/therapeutic play opportunities for children/young people of all ages in hospital, individually or in groups.

How can we help?
  • Act as the child/young persons advocate
  • Prepare patients for procedures such as blood tests using books, role play and medical equipment to ensure they are informed and involved in an age appropriate manner
  • Distraction therapy (using carefully chosen tools such as books, bubbles during a medical procedure to help focus the child on something else)
  • Post procedural play (to help patients to evaluate and cope with experiences)
  • Aid compliance
  • Provide directed play to achieve and maintain developmental goals whilst in hospital through assessment and the use of Play Programmes
  • Sensory play
  • Provide normal play to relieve boredom and provide a sense of normality
  • Create a child-friendly environment
  • Use therapeutic play to help patients cope with hospital experiences and allow them to express emotions in a safe way
  • Offer support for the whole family
  • Teach and help patients to master coping techniques
  • Relaxation and Guided Imagery
  • Contribute to clinical judgements through play-based observations
  • Teach the value of play for the sick child
Why is it important to prepare a child/young person for a hospital procedure?
  • To help them understand his/her illness or procedure in an age-appropriate way
  • To correct any misconceptions or fantasies
  • To reduce short/long term effects of a hospital admission
  • To improve the patients ability to cope with treatment
  • To give the opportunity to express feelings (i.e. anxiety, fear)
  • To promote and encourage trust in hospital staff
  • To enable informed consent
  • To speed recovery

So if your child is particularly worried or anxious about a hospital visit or procedure please contact the play team on 01273 696955 ext 2509

We also organise events such as toy sales and Christmas parties, please check our information page regularly for details of these.