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Virtual Tour app launched for young patients and families

Virtual Tour app launched for young patients and families at Staffordshire Children’s Hospital at Royal Stoke

Young patients and their families can now take an online tour and experience what it is like to visit Staffordshire Children’s Hospital at Royal Stoke thanks to an app designed to help reduce anxiety before coming to hospital. 

Staffordshire Children’s Hospital, which is part of University Hospitals of North Midlands, has launched ‘Little Journey’ - a platform that prepares, informs and supports children and families before, during and after healthcare procedures - all from the comfort of their own home.

The app is designed to reduce anxiety and improve patient outcomes by providing a 360 degree virtual tour with pictures of the surgical pathway at Staffordshire Children’s Hospital, including the ward, theatre and recovery, right through to going home.

Natalie Allen, Senior Staff Nurse at Staffordshire Children’s Hospital at Royal Stoke, said: “We are really excited to be able to offer this platform to our patients. We know that coming to hospital for an operation can be a worrying time for anyone, and for our young patients this can create a lot of anxiety and panic, so it is important that we can reduced these feelings early on and familiarise our patients with each step of their hospital admission.

“The friendly animated characters introduce and explain what happens in each room and what will take place, taking the element of surprise away and ultimately creating a better experience for our patients with better recovery times.”

Aside from the virtual tour, the app also has other features such as appointment information for parents and guardians, checklists and a relax and game zone for young patients to use to help them stay calm during their visit. Little journey content can also be tailored to each user, with storylines, animations and information designed for different age groups, which are also friendly for young people with learning difficulties.

Emma Kelsall, Matron at Staffordshire Childrens Hospital, said: “Little Journey enables us to introduce our services to young patients in a friendly and interactive way, helping to relieve anxiety and worry ahead of their hospital admission. If we can make their first experience of a hospital as friendly and relaxed as possible, this can only help them long term through their hospital journey or if they would need to be admitted to hospital in later life.”

Little Journey can be downloaded from the app store, suitable for both Apple or Android devices. On launching the app, select Royal Stoke University Hospital.