New Children’s Unit to celebrate first birthday at tea party

Bradford Royal Infirmary’s state-of-the-art Children and Young Person’s wards are celebrating their first birthday with a special tea party.

The state-of-the-art facilities are part of the hospital’s new £28 million wing and include two paediatric wards, children’s clinical decision area, school room, play room and dedicated teenage lounge. Part of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, these new additions to BRI are making a real difference to young inpatients and their families in their first 12 months.

The tea party is being held exactly one year to the day that the wards opened and welcomed their very first patients.

Matron Ruth Tolley said: “The wards are co-ordinating this event as a celebration of their achievements to date.  The impact for patients and their families and the staff have been phenomenal.

Positive feedback

“We have been very lucky to have such interest from the community that have raised funds for all our luxury extras such as the adolescent lounge.  The unit is homely and inviting and we have lots of positive feedback from our families. We feel grateful every day that we are able to care for children in such a lovely environment. ”

The party takes place from 2pm to 4pm and some very special guests, who have taken active roles in supporting Bradford Hospitals’ Children’s Charity, will also be dropping by. These include the Charity’s ambassador Hassan Nazir, who was a long-term patient on the old BRI children’s wards – and maybe even a superhero or two!

The event will also be an opportunity to unveil a special ‘Cuddle Chair’, for parents/carers to be able to cuddle older children, which has been generously donated to the unit.

In addition to the children’s party, there will be a cake stall, stocked with goodies baked by staff and a raffle. There will also be a magician to entertain the children, and party bags will be handed out to all the young patients at the end of the celebration.

Youngest city in Europe

Charity organiser, Hayley Collis said: “As Bradford is now officially the youngest city in Europe with more under 16s than over 16s, these new facilities have been truly welcomed.

“In particular the regular patients who were patients in the old wards 16 and 17 are absolutely thrilled not only with the space the new unit offers, but the enhanced calm environment the large space provides.  This in turn has had a positive effect for staff morale too.”

The addition of the multisensory room and the mobile sensory trolley which was completed recently has been particularly welcomed by patients and their families too – these have furnished with over £300,000 worth of additional equipment thanks to fundraising and donations from Bradford Hospitals Children’s Charity.

The assisted bathroom has been equipped with additional hoists, mood lighting and music allowing parents and carers to bathe children with special needs in a calm and serene environment.

Hayley added: “These facilities help to calm and relax our special needs patients, but they also include facilities for our physiotherapists to incorporate the use of this specialist equipment in rehabilitation.”