We designed our first Guidance Brochure solely for Leeds Children Hospital (Wards 31 and 32) as that is the place we know best and where we have the contacts. The Brochure includes information, hints and tips about length of hospital stays, support available, what to pack in your hospital bag, staff you will meet, emergency trips, parking, nearby shops, hygiene and shared spaces.
We mentioned a couple of other charities that work closely with Wards 31 and 32 and so, once we had a draft document (designed by the brilliant Big Beans Design), we sent copies to the manager on Ward 31, to our old support nurse and to representatives of the two other charities. Once everyone had signed off on the document, we had 190 printed and donated them in October 2018 to Ward 31.
The hope was always that the document would provide practical support for parent’s in their darkest hours, and would make navigating their new world as paediatric oncology parents that little bit easier. It really was a ward guide for parents, by parents.
The feedback so far has been positive and it’s being well used. At some point, we’d definitely be interested in working with parents and staff in the other units to create equivalents for the other cities where Fletcher’s Fund is working but that’s not happened yet.
We would like to thank that original parent for their suggestion, the volunteer (also a cancer mum) who helped collate all the information, and all the group members who contributed to making it as useful as possible. Thank you.
And if you’re a parent or a member of staff in a different hospital, we’d welcome requests or offers of help on creating guidance for other locations. Let us know and we can look into it once the COVID-19 outbreak is well gone.