Date: 03 October 2017
An opening ceremony and celebration event was held on Wednesday 28 June 2017 at Leicester Royal Infirmary for the brand new dedicated Clinical Research Facility (CRF) for children and young people. The event provided an opportunity to celebrate the hard work and achievements of the children’s research team and genomics project team, whose dedication and fundraising efforts went above and beyond their work responsibilities.
The guest of honour was Freya Evans (aged 6, pictured below), a current research participant, who had the prestigious task of cutting the ribbon. Leicester’s Hospitals Chief Executive, John Adler, also pictured below, was there to welcome VIPs from the many organisations who contributed to funding the new Research Space.
John Adler, Leicester's Hospitals Chief Executive with Freya Evans, a research participant
The waiting area has an interactive floor projection system with over 100 games to entertain children whilst waiting. Inside the children’s clinical area there are 2 consultation rooms, a large treatment room and a soft consent room with amazing sensory equipment to provide a calming environment. You will also find a 42” screen 3D interactive distraction unit to help distract children going through painful procedures such as taking blood. The whole area is space themed and has some beautiful wall art.
Images from the new Clinical Research Facility in Leicester
Members of the children’s research team believe that this new state of the art unit will make a huge difference to the children, young people and their families who take part in research studies within Leicester and the surrounding areas. One of the big differences in having this unit is that previously, many trial participants were seen within Children’s Outpatients, which is a very busy environment. Visits had to be centred around room availability; now they can be arranged at a time to suit the family. The quiet surroundings allow families the time and space to discuss research and their child’s journey, whilst having the freedom for their children to experience the sensory equipment that they probably wouldn’t otherwise have access to. It is also hoped that the unit will now have the capacity to take on more early phase studies and clinical trials that involve all day visits.
Pictured above - The Children's Research Team
Christina Daines, Children’s Research Manager at Leicester’s Hospitals, said: “Leicester’s Hospitals is a centre of excellence for pioneering research into cancer, heart, endocrine and respiratory disorders in children. However, coming into hospital can be a stressful time for children. The new children’s Research Space will give children participating in research trials the best experience they can possibly have”.
The space has now been open for 3 months and everyone who have visited have really enjoyed it, which is quite a remarkable thing to say for a hospital environment.
Christina says “It is wonderful to see the difference it has made to the experience of the child, young person and their family. Something that can be quite scary for a child e.g. having their blood taken, has been transformed into a better experience. Overall I can say that Research Space gives us the opportunity to give children, young people and their families an enhanced research experience, and show our appreciation to them for taking part in research”.
Here are some of the comments that have been received from the young people that have used the space;
'Lovely colourful space. Good to have wifi. Friendly environment' - Hannah, aged 16
'There is a fun floor to play on and there is a cool glow uo room. It was really fun!' Olivia, aged 6
'The magic floor was super fun. I really liked it.' Rhia, aged 6
'I'm very impressed with the facility. It's easy to find, child friendly and well equipped.' Samantha, a Mum who visits the centre with her child.
For more information about the Children's Research Space, please take a look at the website below:
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