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Giggle Doctors spread smiles to Chelsea Children’s Hospital patients

06 March 2012

Laughter is often cited as the best medicine—and a new team of Giggle Doctors starting work in the new Chelsea Children’s Hospital at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital certainly think it helps.

Photo: Sisters Firdaus and Raheemah Adebola reach for bubbles with the Giggle Doctors in Chelsea Children’s Hospital

Laughter is often cited as the best medicine—and a new team of Giggle Doctors starting work in the new Chelsea Children’s Hospital at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital certainly think it helps.

Two specially trained Giggle Doctors will be bringing monthly doses of laughter and smiles to sick children in Chelsea Children's Hospital on the first Tuesday of every month following their first visit today (Tuesday 6 March).

Mark Norbury, Chief Executive of Chelsea and Westminster Health Charity whose funding has made it possible for the Giggle Doctors to start regular visits to Chelsea Children’s Hospital, says: “Chelsea and Westminster Health Charity is delighted to support our hospital as it finds new ways to enhance the patient experience.

“Giggle Doctors is a great example of how we can fund services that make a positive difference. Nothing heals and brings people together like laughter.”

The Giggle Doctors are trained by Theodora Children’s Trust, which has been providing special visits for thousands of sick children in UK hospitals for 18 years. Chelsea Children’s Hospital patients are the latest to benefit from the magical moments, fun and laughter that the Giggle Doctors bring.

It’s not all jokes and juggling though—every Giggle Doctor trains for two years before graduating and starting work in a hospital. Training consists of a rigorous schedule of artistic and medical workshops which cover topics such as child development, infection control and improvisation.

Sarika Brown, Chief Executive of Theodora Children’s Trust, explains: “Going into hospital is a frightening thing for anyone, but particularly for children.

“Our Giggle Doctors are passionate about bringing fun and laughter to the children they visit and youngsters often make special requests for one of them to be present if they’re having stitches removed, chemotherapy, or any procedure they’re worried about.

“We already send Giggle Doctors to 17 hospitals and we are delighted that we can now work with Chelsea Children’s Hospital to help raise the spirits of their young patients."

Theodora Children’s Trust relies entirely on donations to keep running and hopes to double the number of hospitals it visits by 2020.

Visit www.theodora.org.uk for more information or text HAHA07 £5 to donate £5 which pays for a Giggle Doctor visit to one child.