Northampton & Kettering General Hospital
It is our personal experience and our firm belief, backed up by extensive research, that educational activities help to ‘normalise’ the hospital stay for young people, giving familiar and enjoyable experiences, distracting the child from pain and discomfort and helping make the hospital environment more friendly and fun. This in turn helps recovery and return to home, school and normality.
Both hospitals have an Education provision on the children’s wards and teaching is available part time for children who are in for stays over three days or if they are regular inpatients. Regular inpatients are encouraged to bring work from their own schools if they have a planned admission but the Education staff also provide teaching and educational activities from their own resources as appropriate. Staff liaise with long stay patients’ own schools so that the work they do in hospital is the same as their peers’ as far as possible.
The Education bases at the General Hospitals is staffed by teachers and Senior Learning Support Assistants who are experienced in teaching all age groups. Education is offered either in the Activity Centre (which is situated between the two wards, Paddington and Disney in Northampton), or at the bedside, depending on which is most appropriate. The Education staff work closely with the Play Team to offer activities suitable for all ages.
Education staff liaise with medical staff and the young person’s own school to ensure that continuity of education is maintained. Some young people may be referred to our outreach teaching service if medical advice says they are unable to return to school immediately.