Pictured: The newly decorated 'Rainbow Corner' at University
Hospital of North Durham. Part of the new children's radiology
Children attending for x-rays and other scans at County Durham
and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust are benefiting from an improved
paediatric radiology service dedicated to ensuring they have the
best possible experience.
Children's radiology teams are usually only found at specialist
hospitals and regional centres but now this service is available
for young patients across County Durham and Darlington.
A range of child-friendly changes are being introduced at
Darlington Memorial Hospital (DMH) and University Hospital of North
Durham (UHND), including children-only lists which offer
longer appointment slots to enable staff to spend more time talking
to, and reassuring, children and their parents. This helps them
adopt, and remain in, the correct position for the duration of the
Younger children in particular can find scanning rooms, and the
x-ray process, frightening, which can lead to substandard x-rays
images and undue stress.
Dr Elizabeth Loney, Clinical Director of Radiology, at County
Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, said, "A significant
proportion of children attending hospital will require an x-ray or
other scan, for example, to determine if they have suffered a
fracture following a fall. Extra time spent with them
ensuring they are comfortable and happy results in higher quality
images, facilitating accurate diagnosis.
"We hope that taking time to explain to a child and their carers
what will happen during the test, making sure they are not afraid,
and creating a relaxed environment will improve their overall
Both hospitals now have children's waiting areas within their
Radiology Departments, which are filled with toys and each has a
large mural depicting a 'Knights and Dragons' theme at DMH and a
'Woodlands and Rainbow' theme at UHND.
'Knight's Corner' at Darlington Memorial Hospital.
Pictures and colours are projected onto the scan room walls, and
radiographers wear colourful uniforms, to help children feel
comfortable and calm.
'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient
ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough
- could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'
Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community