A generous donation of £250,000 from the Westfield Health Charitable Trust has given Sheffield Children’s Hospital the extra X Factor…

The award-winning Sheffield-based health and wellbeing company has funded a new, state of the art x-ray suite, which is now giving young outpatients arriving with everything from suspected broken bones to chest problems a faster result – and a magical sensory experience to boot.

The digital x-ray system takes centre stage in the new outpatient department at the specialist children’s hospital.

Funded entirely by Westfield Health via a donation to The Children’s Hospital Charity, the equipment enables x-ray images to be produced in seconds – while the patient is still on the machine.

Each scan has also been turned into a sensory experience. Special lighting and sound effects turn the x-ray room into a magical forest, helping to calm young patients.

To create the special effects, the x-ray department worked with AGFA, the manufacturers of the machinery, and Artfelt, the TCHC-funded programme which transforms the hospital’s walls and spaces with bright art so patients can recover in a child-friendly environment, and stages workshops to distract youngsters during anxious moments – such as before an operation or during long stays on the wards.

Explained Sara Elliott, Interim Associate Director of Pharmacy, Diagnostics and Genetics at The Children’s Hospital:  “We wanted to make the imaging experience as pleasant as possible for children. Our surroundings have a powerful effect on how we feel, and that’s especially important in a hospital, where the environment can influence wellbeing.”

The delivery of the Children’s Hospital’s new wing has been a huge undertaking and this new equipment is vital to an outpatients department that is at least four times the size of the department it has replaced.

It’s anticipated the new digital x-ray system will be used over 15,000 times each year to take digital images of young outpatients arriving with potential bone problems in the hands, wrists, arms, feet, legs, pelvis and spine and also those needing chest x-rays to examine their lungs and abdomen.

Graham Moore, Chairman of the Westfield Health Charitable Trust said: “We have been a long standing supporter of The Children’s Hospital Charity and we are delighted to be able to make this donation for such a fantastic piece of equipment. Sheffield Children’s Hospital is a wonderful facility and we are very lucky to have it in the city. I really hope the digital x-ray system will benefit patients for years to come.”

David Vernon Edwards, director at The Children’s Hospital Charity, expressed the hospital’s gratitude: “Without this hugely generous donation from Westfield Health our outpatient department would simply not have this equipment. We are so very grateful to them for their continued support of the work of the dedicated team at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.”

Picture caption: Pictured in the new state of the art digital x-ray suite at Sheffield Children’s Hospital are (LtoR): Angela Bullivant and Amy Staff from Westfield Health, Graham Moore, Chairman of Westfield Health, David Vernon Edwards, Director of The Children’s Hospital Charity, Sara Elliott, Interim Associate Director of Pharmacy, Diagnostics and Genetics at The Children’s Hospital, and Elzene Kruger, Lead Forensic Radiographer