PUTTING young patients at ease is now just child’s play for staff at Kidderminster Hospital’s minor injury unit thanks to a new interactive waiting area.

A dedicated room for youngsters waiting for assessment or treatment for injuries has proved a great hit.

Many of the young people have hurt themselves or are accompanying an adult who needs medical attention and the new area provides a stimulating but calm room for them while they are waiting to be seen.

Ward manager Sally Bloomer said: “They often arrive scared or in pain and the play area takes some of the anxiety out of the situation by providing a distraction.

“It has a good calming influence on them and hopefully they feel a lot more relaxed and reassured by the time they get to be assessed.”

She added: “It is also a valuable tool for making quick head injury assessments on little ones. It enables you to spot issues they may have by looking at how they are playing and interacting with the toys and their parents.”

The play area, which cost £6,000 and was paid for by the League of Friends, includes wall-based activities, distraction toys and a free-standing toy aeroplane.

The unit is open 14 hours a day, seven days a week and handles 24,000 people a year. About 8,000 are under the age of 16 and approximately 4,000 are small children.