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Our play team

Patient and Play Worker

Play is important for patients and young people, especially when in hospital. With the largest hospital Play team in Europe, Great Ormond Street Hospital is dedicated to putting the Child First and Always and providing holistic care for our patients and families. 

Our friendly and highly-skilled Play Team provide specialised therapeutic play to help patients cope with their diagnosis, condition, treatments and procedures. For example, the team use distraction techniques to engage and distract children before and during blood tests, so that they have a more comfortable experience.

The Play Team also provide general play activities, to help normalise patients’ experience at the hospital. As part of this, on every ward there is a play facility staffed by team members, and stocked with books, toys and games.

“ Play is an important part of a child and young person’s (CYP) development as it is through play that CYP gain essential knowledge and skills. Play is especially important in hospitals as it makes CYP feel at home, and easing anxieties will promote a positive patient experience and help aid in a speedy recovery. Also, in line with Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), CYP under the age of 18 years have the right to play and join in recreational activities; a commitment that is vital even if they are in hospital. As Play Specialists, we relieve anxiety by providing normalising play and therapeutic play activities, such as arts and crafts, sensory play and medical play. By doing this we allow the child to make informed choices and have control around their medical care and procedures”.

  • Erin Hanna
    Erin Hanna
    Senior Play Specialist, Bumblebee and Hedgehog Ward
  • Caroline Allan
    Caroline Allan
    Play Specialist, Butterfly Ward
  • Ellie Henry is a Play Worker on IPP (Saturday)
    Ellie Henry
    Play Specialist, Caterpillar Outpatients
  • Claudia Monteiro
    Play Worker, Butterfly Ward
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