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Empowering Children Through Play: The Significance of Play Specialists in Hospitals

This year, Play in Hospital Week took place between 9th and 15th October with the theme being 'Creativity and Innovation in Play.' This annual awareness week serves as a platform to emphasize the critical role of play in the lives of children undergoing medical treatment. Acknowledging the profound impact of hospitalisation and treatments on children, the weeklong event aimed to shed light on the transformative power of play in alleviating fear, pain, and fostering overall well-being for young patients.

Play specialists play a crucial role in providing support and empowerment to children in various health settings, including hospitals and hospices. Their dedicated work involves helping children understand their illnesses better, developing coping strategies, providing distraction during medical procedures, and promoting positive mental health during treatment. With a strong emphasis on the importance of play, the specialists contribute to creating a nurturing and comforting environment for young patients undergoing medical care.

Sophie's experiences meant that she was able to appreciate the importance of daily play for children and this was reflected in her powerful statement: "They wouldn't run a ward without a nurse, I don't think they should run a ward without a Play Specialist." In fact, one of Sophie’s wishes was for there to be Play Specialists available to children in hospital, seven days per week. Sophie’s Legacy is deeply committed to making this wish a reality and is proud to have participated in Play in Hospital Week task force led by the Starlight Children's Foundation and NHS England, alongside other organisations.

To mark Play in Hospital Week, Sophie's Legacy delivered essential play items to a number of hospitals in the Hampshire area. These items, either specifically requested by hospital wards or procured by the organisation, have played a pivotal role in enhancing the play experiences of the children currently in those hospital settings.

Click here to read more about the crucial role of children’s play in healthcare.

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