New school within a hospital launched

Children being cared for at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital are benefiting from an improved educational service, thanks to partnership work between the hospital and Norfolk County Council.

Educational provision has long been established for children who are patients in the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital but in February 2006 the hospital and the council met to enhance educational support for patients.

The aims of the project were to:

– Increase shared understanding of the emotional and therapeutic benefits to children of continuing to access broadly educational activities at a stressful period of their lives

– Enable effective links between medical staff, parents, play specialists, and teachers

– Enhance the educational opportunities available at the hospital, and

– Ensure effective follow-up procedures when the children are well enough to leave hospital, so that their normal education is as little disrupted as possible

Three teachers are now timetabled throughout the week on Buxton ward in the Jenny Lind Children's Department at NNUH. They provide a range of educational activities from maths and English to craft and games, to relax the children and engage them in learning. They liaise with, and work alongside the ward play specialists

The improved education service includes the availability of computerised learning providing on-line lessons, provided through Access through Technology.

Improved transfer of information is available when the child is ready to return home, whether in Norfolk or further afield, and the need for further educational support is identified and requested as needed.

Buxton ward sister Emma Dolman said: “The provision we now have is much improved and resources have been put in place to better support children educationally while they are in hospital and when they return home.”

Rosalie Monbiot, Norfolk County Council Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “It is vitally important that children’s education continues as much as it can when they have to stay in hospital and I am delighted that we have been able to improve the educational provision at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

“Children can now engage with teachers both at the hospital and online, which means they will be able to access as much of their schooling as is possible outside of the classroom.”

Liz Jones, headteacher of the Pupil Referral Unit, said, “The Medical Needs Team is a very important part of the service we offer, and we are very pleased to have had the support and co-operation of others to extend provision for children during their stay in hospital and beyond”.

Notes for editors

Reporters are invited to attend the formal launch of the hospital educational service held on Friday December 7 at 1pm, at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Boardroom, Level 4, West Out-patients.

Thursday 6th of December 2007 07:00:16 AM