Tayside Child Health Project
At the beginning of 2015 ourTayside Projected resumed. A new Area Officer was appointed who quickly made links with staff in the voluntary sector, local authority and also within the NHS to share information about the work of the organisation, as well as the specific role of the Area Officer in Tayside.
In April 2015 Action for Sick Children Scotland supported the Connected Baby Film Night “A 2 year old goes to hospital” in Dundee. This 1950s film by James Robertson is where our charity originally started from and Connected Baby kindly invited us to be part of the event. A member of the Executive Committee and the Area Officer shared information about the background of the organisation and our specific work in Tayside. This was a fabulous opportunity and also included a local radio interview prior to the film night.
Our Area Officer has worked with a number of local nurseries, playgroups and family groups to deliver Hospital Play Box Workshops where children have had the opportunity to learn about visiting the doctor or hospital through play opportunities using a wide range of age appropriate play resources. The children were encouraged to explore the resources and dress up as doctors, nurses and surgeons. A range of healthcare books were used to engage the children in discussion. Additional support was also offered to parents and early years staff to help develop knowledge and confidence amongst children in order to reduce any anxiety around medical appointments. This is particularly important as statistics indicate 50% of children have some sort of hospital experience by the time they are age 7.
Feedback from children, staff and parents about the workshops has been very positive. One nursery stated
“The thing children enjoyed best was the ability for the children to explore the resources for themselves through active learning. Both staff and children loved the session, it was well delivered and age appropriate. We hope to use this in future to support children’s learning.”
Individual support and advice has been provided to families in respect of a wide range of health issues and queries. In one particular case our Area Officer was able to liaise with a national children’s hospital on behalf of a parent prior to a young person being admitted. The parent subsequently said
“Everything was put in place for us before we arrived at the hospital and the experience was so different to the previous one.”
Our Area Officer has involvement with a number of groups and committees at both a local and national level to ensure the health rights of children and young people are considered. These include Scottish Patient Safety Programme, Early Years Collaborative, Dundee Voluntary Action, Angus Voluntary Action and Perth & Kinross Association of Voluntary Service. We ensure the health rights of children and young people and considered by each of these groups.
Our Area Officer continues to deliver talks to groups and professionals on the needs of sick children and their families. Information about our work has been shared with all Health Visiting Teams in Tayside and a wide range of information leaflets have been provide to Ninewells Hospital and Perth Royal Infirmary.
Partnership work has taken place with all Angus burgh libraries. This saw the Area Officer attending Baby Bookbug Sessions to share information with parents and carers about the work of the organisation and to ensure new parents were aware of how to access appropriate health support for their babies and themselves. A range of information leaflets and a Children’s Health Rights poster has been provided to each of the libraries. Plans are in place to extend this work to the library service in Dundee and Perth and Kinross.
For further information about our work in Tayside email Area Officer Deborah Brown