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Virtual hospital tour to help ease anxiety for young patients

PUBLISHED: 21:23 23 July 2019 | UPDATED: 21:23 23 July 2019

Joseph Howard testing out the Little Journey app. Photo: NNUH

Joseph Howard testing out the Little Journey app. Photo: NNUH

NNUH

A virtual tour of Norfolk's busiest hospital has been launched to give young patients and their families extra support when preparing for an operation.

Jacob Ames being introduced to the Little Journey App to Bianca Rudd. Photo: NNUHJacob Ames being introduced to the Little Journey App to Bianca Rudd. Photo: NNUH

A new virtual reality doctor, nurse and anaesthetist have joined the workforce at the Jenny Lind Children's Hospital, at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH), as part of the Little Journey App.

The free to download smartphone app, which gives a virtual tour of the children's day ward, anaesthetics room and recovery room, aims to ease nerves for young patients before they have surgery or require a test under a general anaesthetic.

The launch of Little Journey, which has been funded by the N&N Hospitals Charity, aims to reduce anxiety for patients by helping to familiarise themselves with the hospital environment from home.

Animated characters such as Dr Jay explain what happens when patients require a general anaesthetic and an introduction to some of the equipment used.

The Little Journey app is now availble to donwload for free. Photo: NNUHThe Little Journey app is now availble to donwload for free. Photo: NNUH

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The app can also be used in 3D using a virtual reality headset and has videos tailored to children between the ages of three and 12.

Teresa Miles, matron for children and young people, said: "Having an operation is a stressful time for anyone and our teams do a great job at helping to ease their anxiety and explain what is happening when they arrive.

"This interactive app will hopefully ease the anxiety for patients as they prepare at home for their hospital admission. The virtual tour helps patients to familiarise themselves with the hospital and the handy checklists help them to prepare before they come into hospital."

The award-winning Little Journey app is the brainchild of PhD student Dr Chris Evans, from University College London and is part of Little Sparks Hospital.

Professor Nancy Fontaine, NNUH chief nurse, added: "I'm delighted we have introduced the Little Journey App to help improve patient experience. I have seen and heard from children and parents who have used the app and the significant impact this made to reducing anxiety and making the hospital experience a much more exciting and contemporary experience."

To download, visit the Apple Store or Google Play. To support the Jenny Lind Children's Hospital call 01603 287107, email fundraising@nnuh.nhs.uk or donate at bit.ly/2MaEbNV

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