Preparing for my child’s admission to the Cancer Centre at the Royal Hospital for Children Glasgow

Hi , I’m Sofia and I’ve been a patient here at the cancer centre. Together with my mum and dad, I’ll show you what happens here. Hi Sofia, my name’s Angela Howat, senior charge nurse from Schiehallion Day Care, welcome to our unit. This unit is one of the specialist cancer centers in Scotland, and children come here for bone marrow transplants, for radiotherapy and for chemotherapy. Why do you all wear different coloured uniforms? All the staff have different roles, so their uniform tells you what role they have. So, my uniform’s a dark blue uniform – I’m senior charge nurse, the other nurses wear the cornflower blue uniform. Do you always get tests on your first day? Yeah, when a boy, a girl, or a baby come on their first visit to Day Care, they usually get blood tests done. They might get an X-Ray, they might get a CT scan and an MRI, also see the doctor and get some other tests done. And now I’ll show you around Day Care, if that’s okay? We’ll go this way. This is our bed bay that the children come into. You’d just have a wee lie down on one of the beds, you might get an infusion in here. A blood transfusion or your chemotherapy here. Do you get your results on the same day you get your tests? Not all the test results, you’ll get some test results on the day, and some of them the consultants will have to discuss with other specialist doctors, and then they’ll get back to you. Hi, pleased to meet you, I’m Veronica the Ward Clerkess. Hi Sofia. So how did you find getting here this morning? Oh it was no problem, we followed the signs for The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, that led me straight into the car park. I got parked no problem, and I didn’t have to pay which was good. It was absolutely no problem. The only question I have Veronica, is if you were here for more than a day, would you still park there? Well, we have the parking permits, which last six months, so, if you were longer than a day I’d just give you a parking permit. Oh, that’s good to know. We just came over to the main building and followed the signs for Ward 2B, which was great. The only thing I would say, is down in the Atrium it’s very busy and quite confusing. Yeah, it’s quite a large area. During the day we have volunteers that will help the patients and parents to find the location. But, there’s someone at the desk 24/7, so there should always be someone there to help you. Well, can I just show you one of the rooms that the patients stay in? Right, great thanks. So how’s the bed? Good. Ah, that’s good. So if this is the patients bed? Where does my mum or dad sleep? Well, mum or dad can stay in here, we’ve got a pull down bed in here. Do you remember when I stayed with you for six weeks, in the hospital? Did you find that helpful? Yeah, I really liked it when you stayed with me. And it was nice to be with you because I knew I could look after you. But, do you think it would have been helpful if I stayed one night and then dad came the other night, and then I went home to be with the boys? Yep. I think the worry is that you have to see both look after both. It’s best to try and keep it as normal as possible, if that’s… possible. So how did you find your stay? Sometimes it was quite scary and other days it was quite boring. But, I was really glad to have my mum with me and to play with the play leader. The new thing we have now is ‘What Matters To Me’, and we find that that’s really good. People can express what they like and what they dislike. So we have this board, and you can write up what matters to you, to make your stay in hospital better. We also have a teenage hub now, so if you want to come and have a wee look, I’ll show you the teenage hub? So I’m just going to show you the parents suite, this is where the parents can come and they can make themselves tea and coffee. They can also find cupboard space where they can store some food. There’s a dishwasher there, and we have a large freezer here for storing frozen food. If you just want to take a wee sit down, we can talk about the facilities on the ward. It’s really nice actually isn’t it? Yeah, we’re really really fortunate to have this, because not every ward has these facilities. So can we come in here at any time, make coffe, use all the facilities? Any time at all, yes, you can come in and use the facilities. That’s great. And is there somewhere we can buy food? There’s a shop in the adult hospital, which is Marks and Spencers. You can also get stuff at the dining room and there’s also a Lidl store about a 5 minute walk away. Yep, that’s brilliant. What about on the ward then, can parents stay overnight? Unfortunately we can only accomodate one parent in the ward, but both parents are allowed on the ward all day. We have Clic facilities for the other parent to stay. That’s good isn’t it? That makes a difference not being by yourself. Good, excellent. Hi I’m Sean, I’m the Clic Sargent social worker based here in the hostpital. Hi, pleased to meet you. Clic Sargent’s a charity and we offer financial, practical, and emotional support to families who come here, from all over scotland to receive some support and some medical intervention. Okay, that’s great. If families come and they’re looking for accomodation, they might have a sibling or another parent who can’t stay here in the ward. Marion’s House is a home from home that Clic Sargent provide. And when you arrive here, staff will help you get into that accomodation and show you where it is. Would you like to go and see Marion’s House? That would be very helpful, thank you very much. How far away is it? Is it a long walk? No, Marion’s House isn’t far away, it’s only a 5, 10 minute walk away from here. Yeah, let’s go. It’d be fantastic, thank you. Good to meet you, welcome to Marion’s House. How did you get on? It was good, aye. I went to Clic Sargent house, plenty of space, the kids can stay there, there’s laundry, cooking facilities, a teenage room for the children. It’s great. Did you find your visit to Marion’s House helpful? It was good, it looks really good, yeah. Whilst you’re here and throughout your journey, we will provide a lot of support to you. If you’ve got any questions, you know there’s a lot of people here to ask. Yes. When you go back home, Ali our outreach nurse will be around to help you and guide you through that stage of your journey. Ali is around and she can offer some support. Hi I’m Ali, I’m one of the outreach nurses here. Our role in the team is a mixture of information and support, and communication with professionals outside the hospital, and families when they’re at home. So we exist all around the centres and we link in with the other centres. So when you’re going home, I’d make sure that your local outreach nurse knows that you’re on your way home, and what needs to be done next. Do you have any more questions? No thanks, thank you for helping me! No bother. Nice to meet you! Thanks so much for you help. Bye bye.

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