New Harrogate ‘bus routes’ make hospital appointments more fun for young patients

New bus routes – especially for children – have hit the road in District Hospital’s Outpatients Department to make waiting for appointments more fun.

A series of brightly-coloured bus stops can now be found across the department, linked by graphics of buses to the specific Children’s Outpatients waiting area which is full of toys and entertainment.

The scheme has been developed because children coming to general Outpatients often didn’t have toys to play with while waiting, when there was a whole area just around the corner which they might not know about.

Each bus stop corresponds to a certain waiting area, and children and parents can follow the bus route from their stop to Children’s Outpatients. In some clinics children are given a doctor’s bleep, which buzzes when they need to return for their appointment – they can then follow the buses back to their bus stop.

Bus stops around the department include one for Ear, Nose and Throat, Audiology, and Ophthalmology.

Sal Katib, Children’s Outpatients Manager, said: “We wanted to make coming to an outpatient appointment a more pleasant experience for children and to help them feel less anxious about the environment. We have a fantastic Children’s Outpatient play area but because some children have to attend elsewhere in the department, their parents might not know about us.

“This is a fun and easy way of highlighting we’re here and welcome children to come along. We’re really pleased with how the bus stops and the buses look, and initial feedback has been really positive. As a team we’re really happy with how we’re making a difference to the hospital experience for young patients.

“Children love the doctors’ bleeps too, and have a lot of fun clipping them on to their belts and playing doctors.”

The graphics have been produced by Harrogate-based


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