The runner’s up for Starlight’s 2021 Play Team of the Year Award has been awarded to the Play Team at the Royal Brompton Hospital. led by Play Services Manager Maxine Ovens.
This team is dedicated to providing play and distraction for the children who visit Royal Brompton Hospital. They work throughout the hospital in various wards, including the intensive care unit, the main children’s ward, the sleep lab, various clinics, and the main children’s outpatients department. This busy schedule exposes their team to a variety of children with different needs.
The Royal Brompton Hospital Play Team has been successful at building strong relationships with patients and their families by figuring out what what relaxes them, makes them happy, and what kinds of activities the children enjoy.
The knowledge, passion and commitment this team has for the power of play helps them to make a difference in their patients and families’ lives every single day.
The Play Team at Royal Brompton Hospital are, in my opinion, in a league of their own. I am fortunate to work alongside them daily, but they have also made a huge difference to me personally, while working with my own son who has additional needs and needed four open heart surgeries.
When the COVID-19 Pandemic hit, the Play Team worked tirelessly to maintain a working playroom that was safe and accessible for all patients. They produced individual activity packs for the children, fun props that were added to PPE to make it less scary, and created specialised cleaning routines and timetables for access to shared spaces.
The Play Team is proactive and come up with bespoke care plans for each child that matches their individual personalities and needs. Through movie and pizza nights, Disney parties, therapy dogs and various activity boxes provided by Starlight, the Royal Brompton Hospital Play Team are able to care and support each child and their family as they undergo treatment that can often be scary, confusing and tedious.
Serious illness doesn’t have to take away someone’s childhood, [and] the hospital doesn’t have to be a negative place… We work hard to be there for the children and give them the best possible experience.
This award means a lot to the entire Royal Brompton Hospital Play Team. Their Play Services Manager, Maxine, believes the award will serve as a great moral booster for the team, especially after the last year of continuous COVID-19 complications and hardships. It will also showcase the importance of play throughout the trust and hospital.
Meet the other Play In Hospital Week 2021 winners and find out more about how we’re celebrating.