Editorial comment: Chief reporter Sophie Morton welcomes Newham’s new Rainbow Centre

PUBLISHED: 08:00 22 February 2017


Going to hospital at any age can be a frightening situation – even more so when you’re a child that doesn’t really understand what’s going on.

That’s why it’s important to have a place that feels friendly and comforting for the youngest patients to be treated in.

Newham University Hospital’s new Rainbow Centre is just that. It has experienced a £6.8 million refurbishment thanks to a donation from Barts Charity and aims to make the experience for the hospital’s 20,000 young accident and emergency patients each year as positive as possible.

Staff seem excited about their new, colourful ward, and even the parent of a young patient called it an improvement.

Rooms have been created for children, adolescents and adults alike to have a bit of time to themselves and take a break from worrying about treatment.

The outdoor area is likely to prove very popular when the weather improves and will give patients a chance to get some vital fresh air in a secure and fun environment.

Of course, all hospitals have their struggles, and Newham is no exception. But by providing a ward that is both appealing to children and convenient for parents and staff, treating east London’s youngest patients will be a much better experience for all involved.

Positives should also be taken from the story of Roy Cook. Despite two of his staff stealing £230,000 from him he has vowed to continue trusting his workers and will even give them an interest-free loans if they are cash-strapped.

What he has been through would make most of us bitter and untrusting but he has shown a humility that should be applauded.

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