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Artistic ideas and designs from talented local students have been brought to life and will brighten the stay of young hospital patients.

Pupils from Bingley Grammar School have worked on mood boards and features for the new paediatric wards and adolescent lounge which are nearing completion and form part of Bradford Royal Infirmary’s new £28 million wing.

The hospital, part of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has been working with Gilling Dod Architects on the design of the new wing but the Lancashire-based business and BRI were keen to get input from young people when it came to making young patients feel at home.

Over the past year, a group of students spanning all year groups at Bingley Grammar has taken part in workshops, creating themes and colour schemes and coming up with innovative ideas on how they would like the paediatric unit to feel if they were to be a patient there.

The students were thrilled to learn that many of their bright ideas will now be rolled out. These include interactive areas in the adolescent ‘chill out’ room such as a large blackboard-painted wall where young patients can doodle and practise ‘grafitti’, a ‘selfie’ wall where they can post pictures and notes for other young patients and shelving for a range of books.

They also suggested comfortable seating such as oversized cushions, beanbags and low-level sofas.

Fantastic contribution

Consultant Paediatrician Simon Frazer said: “It’s fantastic that the students have contributed in this way. They completely get that it is important for our patients, as well as their families and carers to have an environment which is as comfortable and relaxing as possible as this can speed up recovery during what can be a very difficult time.

“Their ideas will really make a difference and the children should be so proud of their efforts.

Creating a home-from-home environment for our patients and their families and carers on our new children’s wards is a key ingredient if our new hospital wing is to be a success.”

Head of Bingley Grammar, Luke Weston said: “The students were thrilled when Gilling Dod director, Jo Kember and designer Georgia Lomax brought in the design boards and visuals showing how they had taken the students’ ideas forward and translated them into the finished design.

“Originally our students were focussing on the design of the adolescent area but the designers were so impressed with the sophistication of their work that they took on board ideas for the rest of the wing. We are really pleased that the school has been able to contribute and provide a long lasting legacy for the new paediatric wards.”

Presented with certificates

The young designers have each been presented with certificates by Gilling Dod for their input, and BRI’s Bradford Hospitals Children’s Charity team has arranged for a commemorative plaque to be placed on the new unit, as a thank you.

For the past two years, the school’s Year 7 pupils have taken part in a 5k sponsored walk which is now set to become an annual event. To date, pupils have raised almost £9,000 which has provided specialist equipment as well as home-from-home comforts which will now be enjoyed by children and teenagers who become in-patients on Bradford Royal Infirmary’s new paediatric wards.

The highest fund-raisers were invited to a sneak preview of one of the new paediatric wards and were given a VIP tour of ward 32 by Shane Embleton, Head of Capital Projects and Sister Louise McConville. The pupils also enjoyed lunch and a visit to BRI’s simulation centre.

The new children’s unit is set to open to patients at the end of the month.