Glasgow hospital’s £1m interactive play area is European first

2nd June 2015

Yorkhill Children’s Charity has unveiled a £1million state-of-the-art, fun-filled interactive environment at the heart of the new Royal Hospital for Sick Children.

It forms part of the charity’s vision to enhance waiting areas at the new children’s hospital in Glasgow – which opens its doors on 15 June.

The installation was designed and delivered by Glasgow Science Centre and funded through a £1m donation from the Hugh Fraser Foundation.

Designed to appeal to a diverse range of visitors, the installation will take centre stage in the Outpatients’ Atrium, with further installations in the Imaging and Diagnostics and A&E waiting areas.

Featuring wall modules and immersion pods – each with a diverse range of innovative and unique interactive experiences - the installation aims to distract patients through contemplative and immersive activities that offer the opportunity to play and relax. Patients can:

• Treat their favourite toy from home in the mini Toy Hospital
• Go on a fun adventure as a character in the Interactive Story Book
• Feed the clown fish and friends in the stunning underwater world of the Virtual Fish Tank
• Watch the stars in the Space Capsule and listen to the birds in the Treehouse

All three waiting areas are enhanced with bespoke seating, which is bright, colourful and comfortable.

Shona Cardle, CEO, Yorkhill Children’s Charity, said: “During the development of the new hospital we consulted patients and family groups and identified waiting areas and times as a source of anxiety and discomfort for many.

“Our vision was to create a welcoming, open, fun-filled space where gentle, playful activities combine with absorbing games and challenges to create an interactive experience, engaging and distracting patients and their families at what can be a difficult time.”

“We firmly believe the project embodies the charity’s ethos – putting patients and families at the heart of the new hospital, providing enhancements, care and respect from the moment they enter the building.”

Glasgow Science Centre designed and created the installation within the three waiting areas of the hospital.

Dr Stephen Breslin, Chief Executive of Glasgow Science Centre said: “We feel very privileged to be involved in this project and proud of the interactive spaces within the new Royal Hospital for Sick Children.

“Delivering the very best healthcare to sick children in hospital is of the upmost importance. A key part of that delivery is generating an environment that is conductive to recovery, that takes everyone’s minds off why they are there and that provides comfort in a time of apprehension and distress.

“We know from our experiences at the Science Centre that people respond well when things are presented in a fun and interactive way. We used this knowledge when working alongside Yorkhill Children’s Charity and the NHS to ensure that the spaces are captivating, evoke delight and encourage wonder.”
Yorkhill Children’s Charity has already funded more than £5m in equipment and service delivery at the new Royal Hospital for Sick Children.

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