Graffiti can help hospital appeal

NURSING staff at Felixstowe General are today appealing for readers to come up with ideas of what the hospital's new child-friendly area should feature.

NURSING staff at Felixstowe General are today appealing for readers to come up with ideas of what the hospital's new child-friendly area should feature.

The Evening Star Helping Our Children Christmas appeal is aiming to raise up to £18,000 to help create and equip the waiting and treatment area at the hospital's minor injuries unit.

Staff came up with the idea for the child-friendly area and primary care trust bosses have drawn up initial plans of where it will go and what it will feature.

But now they would like Evening Star readers' ideas – and especially those of youngsters who might use it as patients.

Junior sister Rachel Osborne said: "It's going to be the children's own area, so we would very much like to hear from them what they think it should be like and what it should feature.

"We want them to feel comfortable using it and so we would like them to be involved and helping us to design it.

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"We have a board in the waiting room at the hospital where we are encouraging them, and their parents, to write their ideas, and we would be delighted to hear from anyone who would like to contribute."

New government rules say health trusts must have services tailored specifically for children, who will be given more power to choose over the choice of treatment and support they receive.

The aim is knock down a couple of toilets which are now surplus to requirements to create a safe, comfortable and non-threatening area where youngsters can be seen privately away from adult patients using the unit.

It will be equipped with paediatric resuscitation and asthma relief equipment, as well as child-height couches and chairs, and other machines and furnishings.

It is hoped to decorate it brightly with murals, and provide toys and books, and a TV showing health promotion videos targets at youngsters.

Staff have put up a "graffiti board" in the current mixed adult and children waiting area so people can give their ideas on the project.

But they can also send them to the Suffolk Coastal Primary Care Trust at listening@suffolkcoastal-pct.nhs.uk

The hospital is used by people not only from the Felixstowe area, but also families in Martlesham, Woodbridge and villages, and also tens of thousands of daytrippers and holidaymakers visiting the resort.

n To donate to the appeal, please send cheques made payable to the Evening Star Christmas Appeal to Geraldine Thompson, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

Shoppers can also donate via the collecting boxes around the Evening Star Christmas tree on the Cornhill in Ipswich.

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