Children decorate new ward as parents reassured Torbay Hospital is ‘safe’ in coronavirus pandemic

Sarah Blackler and Taramarie Johnson on Torbay Hospital's paediatric ward

Sarah Blackler and Taramarie Johnson on Torbay Hospital's paediatric ward - Credit: Archant

Parents are being urged to continue taking their unwell children to hospital during the pandemic amid concerns some are worried they might be risking them being infected by coronavirus.

Paediatric staff at Torbay Hospital have noticed parents are not taking children to hospital because they are following social distancing guidance and sometimes attending later than advised and only when their child's illness has worsened.

Parents of unwell children and those with children living with complex underlying health conditions can be assured that major changes have been made to hospitals to avoid the risk of infection.

Doctor Jonny Graham, Torbay Hospital's lead children's doctor, said: 'It is always worrying when your child is unwell, particularly if they need to be seen in hospital. Coming to hospital is a scary thought. Even more so during the Covid pandemic.

'We know some parents have changed their minds about bringing their child to hospital at the last minute, only to return later when their child is more unwell.

'We have made huge changes to the emergency and children's departments at Torbay Hospital so we can continue to assess children and families in a safe way. If you or a health professional feels your child needs hospital assessment, or if you think your child is unwell, we are always happy to see you.'

Meanwhile, young patients have decorated their Torbay Hospital ward which has temporarily moved during the pandemic.

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When Louisa Carey Ward was moved to another ward, staff asked their patients and parents to help brighten up the bare walls to make it more like the children's ward until they could return.

Chris Banks, of Louisa Carey play specialist team, said: 'We put out a plea for pictures from children to help brighten up our temporary ward for those who were staying in the hospital and we were amazed to receive more than 500. It's been very heart-warming and overwhelming.'

The ward staff also used the pictures to decorate a dedicated area for children with Covid-19 in the hospital day surgery unit.

Louisa Carey Ward has moved to enable the hospital to provide extra beds and support Covid-19 patients in designated wards separate from other areas in order to avoid spreading the virus.