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Information for patients and families


Please find below some age specific leaflets and guidebooks that we hope you find useful.

Ben's bone marrow transplant

A colourful and beautifully illustrated booklet aimed at young children preparing for a stem cell transplant. It follows the story of Ben, from his initial visit to the stem cell transplant service through treatment, managing side effects, exploring emotions and what happens after discharge from hospital. This booklet is provided by the CCLG (Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group).

A guide to stem cell transplantation for teenagers and young adults

A colourful booklet aimed at teenagers and young adults preparing for a stem cell transplant, also provided by the CCLG.

Jess's bone marrow donation                          

If a sibling is a match for a patient, we can also carry out the full donor work up and bone marrow harvest at Bristol Children's Hospital (or arrange for the peripheral blood stem cell collection). All sibling donors are reviewed by independent assessors for the HTA (Human Tissue Authority) to ensure full adherence to the HTA guidelines.

Jess's bone marrow donation is an award-winning colourful booklet provided by CCLG aimed at young children preparing to donate bone marrow for a relative.


If they do not live in Bristol, it is likely that our patients and their carer(s) will need to stay in hospital accommodation for a minimum of two months, including the 'conditioning', in-patient and also outpatient periods. We are able to provide accommodation for 2 adults and 2 children. Please find information about the type of accommodation we offer below.

Sam's House

This is a home-from-home funded by the children's cancer charity CLIC Sargent . It has 16 en-suite self-catering rooms with shared kitchen, dining and living areas, spread across three floors with a garden and play area. Please note that  there is no parking at Sam's House.

CLIC House

CLIC House is also funded for by CLIC Sargent. It is comprised of three Grade-II listed Victorian properties providing 15 bedrooms for families of children being treated for all cancers at Bristol Children's Hospital. Families will sometimes stay at CLIC House if Sam's, Rhys and Charly's are full, as it is typically for shorter stay patients.

Premier Apartments

These are one and two bedroomed self-contained apartments, each with a private kitchen and bathroom. Premier apartments are used when Sam's, Rhys' and Charly's Houses are full, or if a patient is infectious. Parking can be arranged at Premier Apartments, but it is limited and depends on availability.

Premier Inn

We sometimes use Premier Inn if all our other accommodation is full. Breakfasts and parking can be provided for patients and families staying here.

Play Specialists

Play and entertainment on the Bone Marrow Transplant unit is provided by the Play Department, working in partnership with the Multi-Disciplinary team.

The Play Specialist aims to be the child or young person's advocate during their stay, speaking out for them and supporting them and their families at all times.

Play and activities are provided according to individual needs and interests.

Through participation in a wide range of arts & crafts, games and freely chosen activities the Play Specialist aims to help make the hospital stay a positive one; children and young people will also have access to sensory equipment, music and age appropriate toys.

By using a variety of techniques such as preparation & distraction the Play Specialist is able to support children and young people during procedures and treatments, isolation and long term admissions which will help to reduce anxiety, increase understanding of treatments and build confidence.

The Play Specialist can offer support with specific preparations for treatments that may occur during a stay on BMT for example, port or lineinsertion, radiotherapy, moulds and scans by using a variety of tailor made preparation materials such as teddies or dolls with ports and lines inserted.  The children are able to visit treatment areas of the hospital i.e. radiotherapy suits and scanners with the Play specialist where they will meet other members of the multi-disciplinary team. 

Through the role of play younger children can learn about treatment and procedures which the Play Specialist can support using appropriate language to allay any fears or misconceptions that children may have.  The Play Specialist can create safe and secure environment for children to ask questions and expresses their thoughts and feelings.

Siblings can be supported with access to play rooms and the play centre on level 5, where they will be offered activities and play opportunities.  The Play Specialists can also offer emotional support to siblings and ensure they have the chance to express their thoughts and ask questions.

Any hospital admission can be difficult but by working with children, young people and their families on carefully designed treatment plans we can help to make the experience a positive one and give children and young people some feeling of control and involvement in their treatment.