Angel Place Shopping Centre has donated an iPad to Bridgwater Community Hospital's minor injury unit to be used as a 'distraction' for children and toddlers receiving treatment.

The Angel Place management team was approached by Craig Lancaster, a former security guard at Angel Place for 18 years and now associate nurse at the hospital, for assistance on the project.

Bridgwater Community Hospital has been looking at ways of entertaining and distracting children that are receiving treatment for often painful injuries.

This is all part of a wider initiative by the hospital to reflect the needs of young visitors. Mike Paynter, the consultant nurse for the service, commented that 27 per cent of visitors to the unit are children and that looking after young patients requires not just clinical and technical skills, but also a special level of empathy and engagement.

To achieve this the team at Bridgwater Community Hospital arranged visits to local schools and through discussions, pictures and artwork, young people shared their ideas on how the service should look and feel.

Mr Lancaster, who is currently studying a degree in nursing and science, said: “It was incredibly important that we had input from the amazing minds of younger members of the community, as they may at some point in their childhood need to pay a visit to the unit themselves. The facilities are for them, so the design and accessories have reflected their needs accordingly.”

A spokesperson for Angel Place said: “It has been wonderful to hear from Craig again and catch up on how his career in healthcare is progressing so successfully. The team at the hospital works incredibly hard to provide the best care for the community and this donation is wonderful.”

“A trip to the hospital can be quite an unsettling situation for adults to be in and even more so for little ones. The addition of the iPad and a child-friendly environment will offer some additional solace to visitors and we fully support Craig and the team’s efforts with this brilliant project.”

The summertime and school holidays represent a busy period for Somerset’s minor injury service and are usually associated with an increase in children’s attendances. Mike Paynter urges that for minor injuries and illness, people use their local minor injury service and keep Musgrove Park Hospital’s emergency department free for life threatening emergencies.