Patients’ artwork displayed in Westminster

Patients at GOSH have created a colourful art canvas that took pride of place behind the Shadow Secretary of State for Health at Westminster this week as part of the launch of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) State of Child Health Review.

The GOSH Play Team worked with the RCPCH to create the artwork to make sure the voices of children in hospital were heard and acknowledged. 

Dozens of young people added their creativity to the canvas throughout the month including children on inpatient and outpatient wards and many of their siblings. While working with children to design the canvas, the GOSH Play team have been discussing their experience and views of healthcare and helping them express this creatively. Children and young people cannot always attend these events, so the Play Team worked closely with the RCPCH&US Engagement team to help produce this art work to reflect the views of children in hospital.

Research Health Play Specialist Sian Spencer-Little, works in the hospital’s Clinical Research Facility (CRF), a purpose built unit for children taking part in research trials, and helped several patients to contribute their designs. She said:

“We are thrilled that GOSH was able to contribute to this important project and represent the views of children in hospital. The canvas looked amazing!”

Children who took part described it as ‘really cool’ and one patient even suggested that the MPs who attend the event should be called ‘Mops’ (for Members of Parliament)!

Sian attended the launch event in Westminster yesterday where the canvas was hung behind Shadow Secretary of State. The event was attended by over 100 policymakers, advocacy groups and MPs (or ‘Mops’!) The State of Child Health Report was first published by RCPCH in 2017. Yesterday, a set of scorecards were published to show the progress across the country.

Laura Walsh Head of Play at GOSH said:

“This project has helped us highlight the importance of play in hospitals for children’s health and wellbeing”.