Posted on Friday 9 November 2012
The Speaker of the House of Commons, the Rt Hon John Bercow MP together with Patricia Moberly (Chairman of Guy’s and St Thomas’ until 2011) have officially opened the Children’s Neurosciences Centre at St Thomas’ – the largest children’s neurosciences service in Europe.
Fifty staff from several specialties have come together to create a centre of excellence. The facilities have been designed with the needs of its young patients in mind. “Staff and designers worked with patients, families and experts to create the perfect environment for the children, many of whom have autism spectrum disorders or physical disabilities,” said Gillian Baird, Professor of Paediatric Neurodisability at the Trust.
“People with autism can become anxious and agitated in over-stimulating environments. Calming colours and a ‘cocoon pod’ in the waiting area will help our young children relax, and facilities for children with feeding and sleep problems are part of the new specialist services.”
John Bercow said: “This is a group of patients who desperately need facilities tailored to their needs. My son was treated by Professor Gillian Baird in the old unit at Guy’s Hospital, so I see first hand the difference it makes.”
Sliding walls have also been added to clinic rooms to hide equipment and other distractions, and there are hoists to help move children with disabilities. State-of-the-art video equipment will record assessments so these can be shared with parents and other health professionals.
The paediatric neurosciences service has moved from Guy’s Hospital to take advantage of specially designed facilities and to be closer to the staff and services in the Evelina Children’s Hospital.