Play service

What we do

Our team of professionally trained Health Play Specialists offer a range of expertise in helping families and their children to cope as well as possible with illness and treatment, closely liaising with the multi-disciplinary teams in Children's Services.

Children may feel overwhelmed by the strangeness of being in hospital and feeling unwell. They may struggle to cope with daily life which has very different routines to normal. They may be fearful of what is happening to their bodies and of the medical treatment they need.

What are the benefits of play services?

  • Creates an environment where stress and worry are reduced
  • Helps children regain confidence and self esteem
  • Provides outlets for feelings of anger, fear and frustration
  • Prepares and enables children to understand treatment, illness and the hospital itself
  • Raises coping methods between children, their parents and staff during medical procedures
  • Contributes towards assessment and diagnosis, and speeds the child's recovery

Our service is for babies, children and teenagers and includes physical, messy and therapeutic play to help make patients: feel at home in hospital, understand their illness and treatment, cope with stress and let off steam. We also provide advice for family members throughout the process, including preparing to go home.

We have Play Rooms on the Children's Wards that are open in the mornings and afternoons offering a range of play and art and craft activities – bedside toy boxes are available in the evenings. At the weekends the Play Rooms are open at the discretion of the nursing staff. Hospital Play Staff are also available within outpatient clinics during the week – individual support for children undergoing an appointment or procedure can be provided upon request – and a range of toys and activities are available in the waiting areas.

Our team

The Hospital Play Team service is led by David Soulsby, Children's Therapy Lead.

Contact information

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital

Nitisha Majithia
Play Specialist Lead

Hospital Play Team service
Children's Outpatients
1st Floor, Lift Bank D

T: 020 3315 5926


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