Big boost for young patients with a newly designed research clinic.

The reception area of the National Research Centre is bright and airy

Signposted from the moment you step out of the lift on E Floor at QMC, the newly opened Children’s Clinical Research Facility is conducting life-saving research for Nottingham’s youngest patients.

Your donations have helped fund new woodland-themed artwork in the reception area as well as age-appropriate toys for children and their siblings to help them feel welcome. The star of the reception area is the interactive magic carpet that allows children to move instead of sitting still, but also allows physiotherapists to conduct rehab exercises with patients who are still undergoing treatment.

The reception area of the Research Facility features forest artwork and the magic carpet

The artwork continues into a treatment room where patients are treated to a feature wall that contains objects they can find during their time in the room. This helps provide a distraction for young children whilst they are having their blood drawn or cannulas placed.

We spoke to Louise Paine, Children's Clinical Research Facility Operations Manager, about the impact of the redesign and facility on patients and their families. Louise explained: “The Children's Clinical Research Facility on E Floor of West Block was, until approximately a year ago, one of the adult research spaces. To enable the growing team to all be brought together in one space and to enable us to diversify the portfolio the children's team was moved here in June 2023.

The new artwork which features enchanted creatures and illnesses for children to find

“This area is a significantly bigger space than we had before and brought multiple teams together: the Children's Clinical Research team, the Maternity Research team, the Family Health site setup team, and the managers are now all together.

“This was great for everyone. We all moved in in June and then applied to Nottingham Hospitals Charity for a grant for various things – the artwork for the reception, play area, and treatment room is the most visible. The charity also paid for lots of toys for a wide range of ages, helped pay part of the cost of a magic carpet, and painted the staff office areas white to ‘freshen’ it up a little.

“This funding has made a significant difference to both staff and patients. The unit feels fresh and new for staff and for children it feels welcoming.

The artwork at the National Research Facility at Nottingham Children's Hospital

“It is important to remember that the majority of these children are coming here voluntarily. They don’t have to take part in a research trial if they don’t want to. So it’s particularly important to have a welcoming environment – it makes them feel safe and makes them want to come back; the children feel like they have something to do while they’re in the unit that’s appropriate for them and that not all of it is about medical intervention.

“In the process of building the family health portfolio, we increased capacity a lot – from one clinical room and one interview room in outpatients, to five beds which can be used 24 hours if needed. We are really seeing the benefits for children both in Nottingham and nationally and hopefully, we’ll continue to build the portfolio and offer even more treatments which is really exciting.

“We are so lucky to have the support of the charity and hope that we will be able to work with them again to be able to extend the artwork into the bed spaces.”

Thanks to your donations, we were able to help make this new facility more welcoming and friendly for our young patients. You can help support projects like these by making a donation to Nottingham Hospitals Charity today.

Help support projects like this one by donating today

To see the rooms and magic carpet in action, watch the video below.


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