I often see the impact that play can have on the patient experience for babies, children and young people and how it can improve recovery, mental health, and wellbeing.

However, there is a general lack of awareness of the benefits of play, which can be difficult to quantify and evidence. A review of Starlight’s services found that play can lead to a number of efficiencies for the NHS because children are having a more positive patient experience.

Having spent the past five years piecing together the evidence that play is crucial for high-quality children’s healthcare, there are still significant gaps in the literature on the true impact and value this has.

Starlight mapped out what play looks like in hospitals. We found significant gaps in funding and opportunities for children to play in hospitals across the UK.

We need your help to speak to health professionals across the NHS, who hold the stories, the evidence, and the insight on why play is important in healthcare and the impact it has!

Starlight is launching a call for evidence, to bring all these insights and experiences together to build an evidence base on the value of play.

This call for evidence will help us raise awareness of the importance of play and why more investment and resourcing are needed in this area.

If you have a story, evidence, or data you can share on the value of play in healthcare, please click here to find out more on how to share your insights. 

This call for evidence will close on the 31st May 2024.

Together, we can ensure that we protect play for every child in hospital in the UK.