New initiative at Christchurch Hospital for child health

A child health care area is set to open at the new Christchurch Hospital. Photo: Supplied
A child health care area is set to open at the new Christchurch Hospital. Photo: Supplied
A new child care health initiative to sooth the experience of anxious young patients and their families is poised to open at Christchurch Hospital after $3.2 million was provided through a fundraising drive.

The Maia Health Foundation worked with the community to raise the funds required to upgrade facilities used by more than 10,000 children annually.

Enhancements include child-focused theming throughout all child health spaces and a children’s play area for patients and their families. 

There are now 60 parent beds so family members can sleep alongside their loved ones in greater comfort plus a family room situated between the children’s wards which is designed to allow parents to de-stress.   

“You almost can’t compare what we have now to what we’re moving into, the difference is so vast,” Canterbury District Health Board paediatrician Dr Tom Townend said. 

“Children don’t choose to come to hospital. When they do, we want the experience to be as positive as possible,” he said.

Tom Townend.
Tom Townend.
“We can achieve this by providing a welcoming environment that meets the child’s needs for distraction and ready access to their loved ones.

“Having a more positive experience will vastly improve psychological outcomes for children and their families, which will then enable them to better engage with us as health professionals,” he said.

Maia Health Foundation chief executive Michael Flatman said the organisation had spent four years focused on enhancing the child health facilities at the hospital.

“Since Maia’s inception we’ve been focused on bringing our child health spaces up to the modern, family-focused standard that children and their families deserve.”

He highlighted two key benefactors – the Rainbow Children’s Trust donated $1.2m while Cyril Smith bequeathed $1m.

A ceremony is scheduled today to unveil the child health spaces which will open next month.






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