Royal Preston Hospital has opened a new parents’ room on the children’s ward to give parents a chance to relax while their child is being cared for.
The new room is a place where parents can go to make themselves something to eat and drink, relax or gather their thoughts while their child is a patient on the paediatrics ward.
The former parents’ room at Royal Preston Hospital was on the other side of the floor and had to be accessed using a staff badge meaning families had to wait to be let out and let back in again and it also meant staff taking time away from the ward.
The new area is now located within the ward so parents can be much closer to their child’s bedside.
The new facility has a kitchen area where there is a fridge, toaster and microwave, which was kindly donated by a parent.
There is also continuous hot water as well as provisions such as tea, coffee, milk, sugar, bread, butter and jam.
The room was formerly used as a physiotherapy store room.
The refurbishment has been paid for using the endowment fund, which is made up of generous donations from the public and fundraising, either by staff on the ward or external supporters.
Andrew Butler, acting ward manager at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are so pleased with the new parents room and it will make such a difference to families.
“It is a child-free zone so parents can have a peaceful break while their child is resting, in theatre or in the playroom or school.
“A lot of our children and their carers are admitted to the ward as an emergency and so come into the hospital unprepared.
“We have listened to parents’ feedback and it just makes life a little easier for families who are going through a difficult time.”
Matron Mandy Houldcroft said: “It is fantastic to have this new facility on the ward and already parents are telling us that it’s making a real difference.
“When your child is taken into hospital, it is a frightening time and just having somewhere to go for some quiet time or to grab something to eat or drink is really important.
“We also have reading materials and a television in the room too so families can try to take their mind off things for a while.
“We want to say a big thank you to everybody who has donated equipment or helped to fund this new room.”
The children’s ward at Royal Preston Hospital provides a range of care and treatment for young people up to 16 years old.
The ward is designed to be welcoming and friendly and put children and young people at ease.
Play specialists are on hand to occupy young people during their stay in hospital and education support is provided to allow children to keep up with schoolwork.