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03 July 2012

Launch of Bristol Royal Hospital for Children Interactive Website

A child-friendly interactive website designed to communicate directly with young patients at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children (BRHC) has been launched. 

The easy to follow interactive site provides information and answers to questions that the young patients and their families might want to know about what they can expect at the BRHC. 

Children are guided around the microsite - which is part of University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust's (UH Bristol) website - by a friendly cartoon character. Illustrated under four main options:  'coming to hospital'; 'being in hospital'; 'operations and tests'; and 'library', the site includes an interactive colour-coded map of each floor and who works there; 'ebooks' based on patient leaflets; a checklist for patients and their families to use to prepare for coming to hospital; and an activity called 'uniform bingo' to help young patients identify who they might meet.  

There are guides to being on a ward:  about what happens each day; food and drink; and play; as well as information about visiting and where parents and carers can stay.  Also clearly illustrated are explanations about what happens during scans; x-rays; going to theatre; and getting medicine. 

Dr Jackie Cornish, Head of the Division of Women's and Children's Services at UH Bristol, said:  "Following on from the success of 'One of a Kind!' - the award-winning animated short film that the Trust commissioned to demonstrate the experience of radiotherapy to young people - we wanted to build a website that our young patients could identify with.  We are proud and excited by what has been achieved.  One of the most useful features is that we can add to it in the future as we have new developments, such as the transfer of paediatric burns, plastic surgery and neurosurgery to the children's hospital site.  We are grateful to the Grand Appeal for funding this website, which we anticipate will be of far-reaching benefit to our young patients." 

The website content was created by UH Bristol and the site itself was built by Bristol-based digital agency Mentor Digital.  Holland Risley, Mentor's Managing Director, said:   "We are really pleased with the new interactive website and really enjoyed working on the project. Apart from the fun design, this site uses modern technology, and functions without using Flash. This means that it works across all modern browsers including iPad and iPhone. The site uses fun and colourful interface designs and delivers multimedia content including video, page turners, object browsers and document libraries in an engaging way." 

The Trust is very grateful to Wallace and Gromit's Grand Appeal who are behind funding this interactive website.  Anna Shepherd, Deputy Director at the Appeal, said:  "The Grand Appeal is committed to funding services at the Children's Hospital that enhance the experience for young patients and their families. The new website has been specially designed to appeal to children and to provide lots of information to interest, help and support them during their stay in hospital."