Welcome to the Play Service

Play is vital to the continued development of children and young people.  From the earliest age play helps children to learn, to make friends and develop relationships, and to have fun.

When children and young people are admitted to hospital they are often at their most vulnerable.  Play helps them to adjust to a potentially stressful situation.  Play can really make a difference.

Who are we?                                     

We are a team of Play Specialists and Play Assistants who are professionally trained to offer a range of expertise to help children and their families cope, as well as possible, with their illness and treatment, liaising with the Multi-disciplinary teams within Children’s Services.

How do you recognise us?

We are easily recognisable by our animated scrub tops.  There are also photographs of us displayed on our Information Board.

Our Role

The Play Service promotes and provides a quality service for children from birth to 18 year olds and to provide normalising and therapeutic play.

What do we do?

  • Our aim is to promote and provide a quality play service for all children in the hospital from birth to adolescence.
  • To provide creative, recreational and social activities into a potentially stressful environment
  • To support children/young people and their families to adjust to the hospital environment
  • To provide a reassuring experience to increase each individual child/adolescent’s confidence, self-esteem and independence.
  • To help children come to terms with their fears and anxieties and master their experiences.
  • Preparation and distraction for procedures and treatments.
  • Support to parents/carers on appropriate play for sick or injured children/young people.
  • Help for children/young people to recognise and form their own coping strategies for treatments, procedures and hospital admissions.
  • Play sessions to help children gain skills lost through regression or effects of illness and hospitalisation.

We also aid diagnosis, contribute to clinical judgements, improve recovery rates and encourage children’s co-operation with hospital procedures.

Activity Centre – Woodcock Ward

Play Room photo 1 Play room photo 2Our Activity Centre has a range of toys for babies to 10 year olds.  We also aim to have activities for those patients who are able to leave their beds.   We can also bring toys and activities to your bedside or cubicle for those patients who are unable to visit the room. 

The Activity Centre is available for patients to use throughout the day.  Any child under 11 years old needs to be supervised by an adult.

Please do not take any food, drink or sweets into the Activity Centre as we use it for those patients that are ‘nil by mouth’ whilst awaiting possible procedures.


Teenage Lounge – Wildgoose Ward

Teenage room phot 1 Teenage room photo 2The Teenage Lounge is available for patients to use throughout the day, to help patients to socialise with their friends, family or other patients.

You will find a ‘Play Service Menu’ by the side of your bed which will give you an idea of some of the activities that we can provide you to help with distraction.





Playful MRI Rocket Clinic

MRI rocket We are part of the Playful MRI Rocket Clinic, helping to prepare children to have an MRI without General Anaesthetic or sedation.  We help familiarise the patient with the MRI scan and use the Play Rocket to make the experience fun.

The Team are available on the wards

Monday – Friday 8 – 7 and Saturday 8 – 4.

The Play Service can be contacted

Monday to Friday 8 – 4.30 on 01752 430129 or

via email plh-tr.playteam@nhs.net

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