31 May 2022
“Having a space where staff can relax is essential to allow staff to switch off for a few minutes from the hospital environment,” says Dr Kim Sykes, Paediatric ICU Consultant.
She explained, “Around 200 staff work in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), and it is exactly that. Intense. It is crucial for our staff wellbeing to have this dedicated space to take their breaks.
PICU has been part-refurbished by University Hospital Southampton and with thanks to additional funding from Southampton Hospitals Charity, specifically the Airey and Ellis families. They were grateful for their children’s care, with staff often going above and beyond. Little personal touches from the staff mean such a lot to the families on the unit, such as making birthday cards for the parents.
The new staffroom has expanded in size, featuring items such as microwaves, dining tables and chairs, and a TV. We often take seating for granted, so having a dedicated space where the staff can sit and eat their meals was an important part of the refurbishment.
The room features new artwork including a ‘Where’s Wally’ themed mural illustrating the areas the PICU children might visit which incorporates some of the actual staff from the unit.
This was done by PICU nurse Molly Watts, who also writes and illustrates children’s books.
Other artwork includes calming beach scenes, and inspirational quotes from the Charlie Mackesy range, many of them containing references to cake as that is a favourite amongst our staff!
This space will make a massive difference to our staff wellbeing. It saves them from having to go far away from the unit for their breaks, allowing them more down-time before returning to their patients.”