What is our Play Service?
Our Play Service provides therapeutic and developmental play for all children and young people, being inclusive of equality and diversity. We aim to build a relationship with every child or young person we meet, to help encourage them and give them the confidence to go ahead with treatments and procedures.
The Play Service’s aim and vision
The team aims to provide play, recreation, and activities to help with patient development, relieve boredom, help with recovery, and create a child-friendly environment. All of this will help to create a positive patient experience at Alder Hey.
Our team of Play Specialists also work with medical and nursing staff, to help children and young people get ready for procedures, treatments, and surgery. The team also offer distraction, diversional and participation therapies for patients undergoing a procedure or treatment.
Our Play Assistant team aim to meet each child and young person’s needs and work closely with Health Play Specialists and the wider team. They provide developmental and fun play to our patients. They also help to set up rooms, equipment and activities for children and young people.
Our vision is to provide children and young people with good quality and diverse practice which ensures our service is available to all. We actively promote our values and express them through the power of play.
Meet the team
Our team is made up of friendly, qualified, and registered Health Play Specialists. Within the team, there are:
- Play Service Manager – leads and supports the team of Play Specialists and Play Assistants
- Health Play Specialists – this role involves helping children and young people channel feelings of pain, anxiety, and fear so they can make sense of their medical condition and feel more relaxed in the hospital setting
- Play Leaders – work closely with Health Play Specialists to create a warm & welcoming safe child-friendly environment
On most wards and departments.
Our Play Specialists wear lilac-coloured tops and our Play Assistants wear purple tops.
All wards have a playroom at the far end of the ward, each ward has an outside play deck.
Some wards have a designated teen zone, and most offer the use of a games console or tablet at the bedside (depending on availability).
Justine Makin is the Therapeutic and Specialised Play Service Manager.
If your child needs specialist support, please speak with your nursing or medical team.