The Parent’s Room on Casey Ward (the hospital’s dedicated children’s ward) has just undergone a brand new £17,000 refurbishment with help from Momentum, a charity that aims to improve the clinical environment for children with cancer and life-limiting illnesses.
Tara Parker, a nurse specialist in children’s cancers, explained why the new Parent’s Room is such an important part of life on the ward. She said: “Considering that some children are on the ward for quite lengthy periods of time, parents need somewhere to have a break – a quiet space where they can make a cup of tea and put their feet up, knowing that they are just seconds away from their child, should they be needed.
“Although the space is small, it is still one of the most important rooms on the ward, and the designers at Momentum have not only brightened up the room but have made it as ergonomically friendly as possible. We now have a supply of tea, coffee and cups with an integrated fridge, freezer, kettle, microwave and television to use.”
Six-year-old Daniel Tofte has been an on-and-off patient at Casey for more than two years, as he needed cancer treatment at both Epsom and the Royal Marsden. Having finished the latest round of chemotherapy, Daniel is still being seen for further oncology treatment at Epsom and with his father Ash, was on the ward as the new look Parent’s Room was officially opened.
Ash said: “When I am with him in hospital, I don’t want to leave him, but every now and then parents will need somewhere to go just to be able to make a drink without wanting to trouble the staff.
“The Parent’s Room is perfect for that, and allows me to have a short break without going too far away from Daniel, which puts him at ease.
“Although we would prefer not to be visiting a hospital at all, Epsom Hospital is great and all the doctors and nurses have been fantastic. When he comes here Daniel is now just able to accept it and even looks forward to seeing some of his favourite nurses on Casey Ward.”
Sister Karen Kilday is able to see the importance of the Parent’s Room within the daily care of each patient on her ward. She said: “We are incredibly proud of the service we provide, and the whole team is absolutely dedicated to giving our young patients the very best of care and supporting their parents. Having a child in hospital is a very worrying time for families, so we are really pleased to be able to give loved ones the chance to have a break.
“The new Parent’s Room reflects the care we give on Casey, and it is what the families deserve.”
Momentum were able to redecorate the parents’ room with funding from GMB and Toyota, incorporating the lime green of the charity with a calming purple for parents. More information about their can be found at http://www.moment-um.org/ and on twitter @MomentumCharity.